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
On the chain gang, they'd seen every kind of man...but Luke became a legend.
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Did You Know?
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
When Luke is cutting chains from ankles, he throws the axe off to his left. When one of the trackers arrives, the axe head is resting on the stump with the axe handle off to the right. See more
[Dragline has repeatedly knocked Luke down during a boxing match
Stay down. You're beat.
You're gonna hafta kill me...
[struggles back to his feet
Written by Huddie Ledbetter (as Leadbelly
Performed by Harry Dean Stanton See more