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Content and Trigger Warning Guide: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Content and Trigger Warning Guide: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Note: This guide may contain spoilers.

Synopsis: A criminal pleads insanity and is admitted to a mental institution, where he rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients. (Source: IMDb)

MPAA Rating: R

Estimated Self-Censored Rating Using Full Guide: PG-13, or R based on the language still in the film.

Watch On: Amazon, HBO Max

Content Warnings

  • Nudity/Sexual Content (5)
    • McMurphy shows another patient a playing card with a picture of a woman’s naked butt. This is shown very briefly from 0:07:47 to 0:07:52.
    • McMurphy holds up a playing card with a picture of a woman’s naked butt from 0:51:20 to 0:51:23.
    • A side view of a naked woman is briefly shown from 1:03:22 to 1:03:25.
    • Billy is shown lying in bed with a woman, both are naked, but covered. This is shown from 1:55:08 to 1:55:13. However, he then runs out of the room, and his naked butt is shown from 1:55:22 to 1:55:28.
    • McMurphy makes crude sexual references throughout the film.
  • Blood (3)
    • McMurphy punches a glass window at 1:18:18. Blood can be seen on his hand and wrist following.
    • A nurse is shown with blood on her face, arms, and dress from 2:00:23 to 2:00:28.
    • The bloody aftermath of Billy’s suicide in which he has slit his own throat with a shard of glass is shown from 2:00:50 to 2:01:10.

Trigger Warnings

  • Domestic/Child Abuse (1)
    • Sex with a minor is discussed from 0:11:35 to 0:12:18.
  • Drug/Alcohol Abuse (1)
    • Adult characters are shown smoking throughout most of the film.
  • Self-Harm/Suicide (2)
    • It is mentioned that Billy has tried to commit suicide. This line is heard from 0:41:15 to 0:41:20.
    • The aftermath of Billy’s suicide from 2:00:50 to 2:01:10.
  • Slurs (3)
    • McMurphy makes some Indian jokes that may be offensive from 0:06:35 to 0:06:50.
    • McMurphy refers to Nurse Ratched as a cunt. This line is heard from 0:49:28 to 0:49:30. 
    • McMurphy uses terms regarding the patients that may be offensive throughout the film.
  • Intense/Frightening Scenes (3)
    • McMurphy is given electroshock therapy from 1:26:15 to 1:26:50.
    • McMurphy violently chokes Nurse Ratched from 2:01:22 to 2:01:50.
    • Chief suffocates McMurphy with a pillow from 2:07:45 to 2:08:50.

This guide was completed by John Morgan, a film student at University of North Carolina School of the Arts.


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