The film is based on the novel of the same name by American writer Ken Kesey. The action takes place in the mid-60s of the last century. To avoid jail time, a criminal named Randle Patrick McMurphy decides to feign a mental disorder. For examination, he is transferred to one of the psychiatric clinics, where he has to face the harsh rules and regulations of the institution, established there by the head nurse Ratched, who has a violent character. Not wanting to put up with all this, Randle arranges a riot in the clinic, and even puts forward some requirements, one of which is to spend patients ' free time as they wish. However, since the war with Ratched, he did not even know what lies ahead.