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
The man...and the motion picture that simply do not conform.
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Did You Know?
According to Jack Lemmon
's son Chris Lemmon
in an Icons Radio Interview, Jack Lemmon was originally selected to play the part of Luke, but Lemmon, reading the script, saw that Paul Newman
would be better. So Lemmon decided to produce it. See more
In the provocative roadside "carwash" scene, the blonde washes the car by rubbing her chest against the car windows and subsequently arouses the onlooking road crew (chain gang). In actuality the view as seen by the crew is obscured by the car itself. See more
He was smiling... That's right. You know, that, that Luke smile of his. He had it on his face right to the very end. Hell, if they didn't know it 'fore, they could tell right then that they weren't a-gonna beat him. That old Luke smile. Oh, Luke. He was some boy. Cool Hand Luke. Hell, he's a natural-born world-shaker.
Spoofed in Doin' Time
Written by Howard Washington Odum
Performed by Harry Dean Stanton See more