After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.
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
A Southern prison camp was built for this movie just north of Stockton, California. A dozen buildings were constructed, including a barracks, mess hall, warden's quarters, guard shack, and dog kennels. See more »
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 »
Where'd the road go?
That's it. That's the end of it.
Man, there's still daylight.
About two hours left.
What do we do now?
Oh Luke, you wild, beautiful thing. You crazy handful of nothin'.
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Amazing movie....watched it for the first time three or four years ago. Seen it plenty of times since......this, along with "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest", is one of my favorite films of all-time. Luke is a truly memorable character; funny, tragic, inspirational.....a lot like Randle Patrick McMurphy. Paul Newman once again proved the Academy to be full of idiots, giving a great performance deserving of an Oscar. How he only won once, when Sally Field is the owner of two statuettes, is inexplicable. His run of classic films and touchstone characters from the 60s-70s (Luke, Fast Eddie, Butch, etc) is unparalleled. George Kennedy was good, too......I mightn't be good at critiquing, but I know what I like. And I like this.
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