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
"What we've got here is failure to communicate."
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Did You Know?
was first offered the role of Luke's mother, but refused the bit part. See more
Dog Boy fills Luke's plate with more food than Luke can eat, saying gleefully that Luke will be punished for not cleaning his plate by spending the night in the box. However, as punishment for his escape attempts, Luke is already being made to spend every night in the box. See more
[Discussing a new prisoner who has to spend the night in the box
He ain't in the box because of the joke played on him. He back-sassed a free man. They got their rules. We ain't got nothin' to do with that. Would probably have happened to him sooner or later anyway, a complainer like him. He gotta learn the rules the same as anybody else.
Yeah, them poor old bosses need all the help they can get.
Written by Huddie Ledbetter (as Leadbelly
Performed by Harry Dean Stanton See more