COOL HAND LUKE stars Paul Newman as "Cool Hand" Luke Jackson, a lonely man sent to prison for cutting off the tops of parking meters and not knowing why. Newman has had several memorable roles, but his turn in COOL HAND LUKE is one of his best and my favorite of Newman's movies. The movie is filled with unforgettable scenes (Lucile washing the car; the egg scene) and lines ("What we got here is failure to communicate."). The film has a great supporting cast and George Kennedy won an Academy Award. The movie can be described as a typical 1960s antiestablishment rebellion movie. However, the film is much more than that. At it's core is a story of humanity shrouded in Christlike imagery. In many ways, the film is a Christian parable (but without the dashboard Jesus sung about in the movie). A fun movie, well worth watching.
Pros: wonderful acting by all Cons: ....... Somehow it seems justified. After all, he was just a little drunk and using bolt cutters to cut the tops off of parking meters. Nothing big, but this is the South and good old Luke is just a little too cocky for the judge. Sent to the chain gang, Luke's defiance to the system but his ingratiating personality make him loved by all. All that is except Dragline (George Kennedy), boss of the chain gang and fellow … more
In this classic Southern prison drama, social misfit Lucas "Luke" Jackson (Paul Newman) is incarcerated for a petty crime and sentenced to a chain gang. Luke is a sullen and laconic young man whose cool defiance of the sadistic warden and bullying inmates earns him the title "Cool Hand Luke." But as the prisoners' respect for Luke grows into hero worship, he finds that he must risk everything in order to live up to their expectations. Filled with dozens of memorable scenes (Luke eating 50 eggs) and quotable lines ("What we have here is a failure to communicate."), COOL HAND LUKE is a testament to excellent screenwriting (Donn Pearce and Frank Pierson) and Newman's charm and skill as an actor. The film also features an outstanding supporting cast that includes George Kennedy, Strother Martin, and early screen appearances by Dennis Hopper and Harry Dean Stanton.