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Cool Hand Luke (1967)

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 #169 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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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:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

PG | 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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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Aldo Ray auditioned for the role of Dragline that ultimately went to George Kennedy. See more »

Goofs

The time period was more likely 1958 because Luke sang, "Plastic Jesus", a folk song which was written in 1957. See more »

Quotes

Dog Boy: Look Cap'n, look what he done to Blue. He's dead, he's dead. he run himself plum to death.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 25th Hour (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Cotton Fields
Written by Huddie Ledbetter (as Leadbelly)
Performed by Harry Dean Stanton
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The anti-hero

One of the reasons that the late 60s/early 70s was such a powerful era in filmmaking is the emergence of the anti-hero (defined as an individual with heroic qualities, but not in a position we would usually find a hero). This is symbolized greatly in `Cool Hand Luke'. We can identify with Luke because his crime is venial and his concerns over the great questions of life are ours. It is because of this and his persuasive charm that the other prisoners (played remarkably well by Kennedy and a host of others to include Wayne Rogers, Ralph Waite, Dennis Hopper and one of the actors who played a crewmember on `Alien') live vicariously through him.

Filled with memorable scenes (the boxing match, 50 eggs, the fealty of his fellow prisoners who help him finish his food after his stomach is shrunk in solitary confinement, `shakin' it here boss', the sneezing dogs, and of course the carwash part) and outstanding character development (created by what is said and what is not said, i.e. the visiting brother), one of screen history's most repeated lines and the great acting of Newman, this movie deserves to be called a classic. Released the same year as `Bonnie and Clyde', it makes one long for the days when you needed a real script to make a movie.


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