MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 325 this week

Cool Hand Luke (1967)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  1 November 1967 (USA)
8.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 98,247 users  
Reviews: 253 user | 92 critic

A man refuses to conform to life in a rural prison.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 45 titles
created 11 Jun 2012
 
a list of 26 titles
created 30 Nov 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 04 Apr 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 13 Nov 2013
 
a list of 46 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Cool Hand Luke" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Cool Hand Luke (1967) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Cool Hand Luke.

User Polls

Top 250 #150 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: M Biography | Crime | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Two Western bank/train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross
The Sting (1973)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In 1930s Chicago, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw
The Hustler (1961)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An up-and-coming pool player plays a long-time champion in a single high-stakes match.

Director: Robert Rossen
Stars: Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Allied P.O.W.s plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

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.

Director: David Lean
Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins
Papillon (1973)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam war impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the US Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb
Network (1976)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Lou Antonio ...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Marc Cavell ...
Richard Davalos ...
...
Warren Finnerty ...
...
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

prison | prisoner | escape | guts | chain | See All (136) »

Taglines:

"What we've got here is failure to communicate." See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La leyenda del indomable  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Luke's prison number (37) is a reference to the Bible - Luke 1:37. ("For with God nothing shall be impossible.") See more »

Goofs

When Carr gives his famous "Night in the box" speech, just after he tells Luke he hopes he won't be any trouble, he drops the spoons with a clattering sound. In that instant, the camera cuts from a close-up to a long shot, and the cigar stump clenched in his mouth is suddenly now in his left hand. See more »

Quotes

Arletta: Ya know, sometimes I wished people was like dogs, Luke.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gilmore Girls: We Got Us a Pippi Virgin (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Just a Closer Walk With Thee
Sung by Harry Dean Stanton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
What we have here is no failure
21 June 2012 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. I went way too many years without watching this movie again, so when Cinemark included it in the summer classic film series, I was in my seat nice and early. Mention this movie and the first thing people do is quote one of the most famous lines in movie history: "What we have here is failure to communicate." No question that's a great line. But there is so much more to this movie and it holds up beautifully 45 years later.

Based on the novel by Donn Pearce, who spent two years on a chain-gang, this is the story of Luke (Paul Newman) who just can't bring himself to conform to the rules, regardless whether those be the rules of the military, society, prison, or those self-imposed by the convicts. We are introduced to Luke as he drunkenly cuts off the top of parking meters on main street of a small town. Later, in a throw away line, we learn he was gaining revenge on someone. It's the clear indication that while he doesn't always want to fit in, Luke clearly knows right from wrong.

There are so many terrific scenes in this film, that it's not possible to discuss each. Every scene with the prison warden, played by Strother Martin, is intense. Each of the Boss guards are frightening, especially Morgan Woodward as the sharpshooter behind the mirrored shades. There are numerous impactful scenes featuring the group of convicts. Even though we learn little about the individuals, we realize the fragile male psyche is on full display. Despite the power of all of these characters and scenes, the real strength of the film is the relationship between Luke and Dragline (George Kennedy). Watching the early cat and mouse game, and the subsequent transfer of power, feature two amazing actors at the top of their game.

George Kennedy rightfully won the Best Supporting Actor award and continued on to become one of the most successful and prolific character actors of the 70's and 80's, and his career culminated with his iconic role in the Naked Gun series. As for Paul Newman, this is one of his best performance in a long line of standout performances. This one is in the middle stage of his career and he exuded manliness with a touch of sensitivity. He and Strother Martin would meet again in one of the best sequences of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Watching Luke win over all the convicts, including the previous leader played by Kennedy is stunning, yet gut-wrenching when offset by the scenes with the guards who are hell bent on getting Luke to understand his place. They understand the risk he poses to the systematic rhythms of the prison.

The supporting cast is downright incredible. This was the feature film debut for: Ralph Waite (4 years later he became the beloved paternal figure of TV's The Waltons); Joe Don Baker(Buford Pusser from Walking Tall); James Gammon (later the crusty manager in Major League); and Anthony Zerbe, another iconic character actor of the 70's and 80's. Also featured are Dennis Hopper, Harry Dean Stanton (singing a few songs), Wayne Rogers (from MASH), Richard Davalos (James Dean's brother Aron in East of Eden), and Rance Howard (Ron's dad as the sheriff). In a brief, but truly great scene, Jo Van Fleet (also from East of Eden), appears as Arletta, and we quickly understand Luke's background.

Often overlooked by film historians, "Lucille" putting on a show for the convicts as she washes her car, is a scene that is meant for more than titillation. As she creatively buffs the windows, the reaction of the convicts reminds us that these are still men and no amount of humiliation and degradation can change that. One of my friends argues that Joy Harmon was clearly cheated out of an Oscar for this scene.

The score is the handy work of Lalo Schifrin and expertly captures the moment ... especially in the black top scene. Director Stuart Rosenberg was known only for his TV work when he got this script. He went on to direct another prison movie in 1980 called Brubaker. Starring Newman's Butch Cassidy co-star Robert Redford, the film was a decent prison drama, but not at the level of Cool Hand Luke ... which by the way, was installed into the National Film Registry in 2005.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What was Dragline in for? banzaibill
50 eggs!? horneddemon
Car washing scene XLCH1000
Let's talk Coolest Film Characters Ever...with a caveat kanuffelrik
Does this film remind anyone else of 'one flew over the cuckoo's nest'? scscmick
Is This Movie Boring To Younger Viewers? arnomation
Discuss Cool Hand Luke (1967) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page