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Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 1 November 1967 (USA)
A laid back Southern man is sentenced to two years in a rural prison, but refuses to conform.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Frank R. Pierson) | 1 more credit »
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Top Rated Movies #170 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Warren Finnerty ...
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Storyline

Luke Jackson is a cool, gutsy prisoner in a Southern chain gang, who, while refusing to buckle under to authority, keeps escaping and being recaptured. The prisoners admire Luke because, as Dragline explains it, "You're an original, that's what you are!" Nevertheless, the camp staff actively works to crush Luke until he finally breaks. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He was a cool customer. . .until the law made it hot for him! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La leyenda del indomable  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two years later three of the cast members went on to star in "Easy Rider": Dennis Hopper, Luke Askew, and Warren Finnerty. See more »

Goofs

Luke sings "Plastic Jesus," a folk song that wasn't written until 1957, well after the time period of the movie (approximately 1949). See more »

Quotes

Luke's Nephew: [on visiting day] Uncle Luke? Why can't *you* have chains?
Luke: John-boy, lemme tell you something. You know, them chains ain't medals. You get 'em for making mistakes. And you make a *bad* enough mistake, and then you gotta deal with the Man. And he is one rough old boy.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Bart the General (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

There Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down
(uncredited)
Written by Claude Ely
Performed by Harry Dean Stanton
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The 'Anti-Hero' Emerges In Hollywood
15 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Perhaps one of the last of the chain-gang movies (until it was briefly shown in the beginning of 2000's "O, Brother Where Art Thou?), this has always been (1) an interesting film (2) a wonderfully photographed movie.

You hear more about the story and about Paul Newman than you usually hear about the cinematography, but it's good and this movie should be seen in widescreen. It was offered as such even on VHS.

When I looked at this film sometime in the '90s, I was surprised that the famous line from it: "What we have here is a failure to communicate," was only used twice, and the second time being the last sentence uttered by Newman. I had thought that Strother Martin had said it several times. Boy, Martin was one of the more effective villains in some 1960s film, a mean-talking sadistic guy.

This movie was another of the pioneers in promoting a new thing on screen: the "anti-hero," so it was popular in the protest decade of the '60s. Newman's character fit right into the period where the rebel is the hero and the authority figure is the bad guy. You've seen this repeatedly ever since, although filmmakers have always loved rebels.

George Kennedy gives Newman memorable support as "Dragline" and was aptly awarded for his performance. Someone who I always remembered was the prison guard who said nothing, just stared through his sunglasses. I can always picture that guy and those reflective glasses. That, and eating 50 hard- boiled eggs have stuck with me for over 40 years!


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