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
One of Paul Newman's instructions to the writers Donn Pearce and Frank Pierson was that they did not write the piece for him. He wanted a part that would really stretch him and not just play to his strengths. See more »
During the road tarring scene, the "boss" is walking in the midst of the crew shoveling sand in the close ups (he even gets sand on his shoes, which he inexplicably, doesn't punish), yet long view shots has him walking well, well behind the road crews' working area. See more »
Any man playing grabass or fightin' in the building spends a night in the box.
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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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