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Cool Hand Luke (1967)

A laid back Southern man is sentenced to two years in a rural prison, but refuses conform to life in prison.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Frank R. Pierson) | 1 more credit »
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Top Rated Movies #174 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Warren Finnerty ...
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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:

The man...and the motion picture that simply do not conform. 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:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[Moving through the crowd, all excited about the record breaking egg eating about to take place]
Dragline: Alright, stand back you pedestrians, this ain't no automobile accident.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Second Hundred Years: Dude Hand Luke (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Plastic Jesus
Written by Ed Rush and George Cromarty
Performed by Paul Newman
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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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