IMDb > Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Cool Hand Luke
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Cool Hand Luke (1967) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 41 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
Cool Hand Luke -- Trailer for this classic starring Paul Newman
Cool Hand Luke -- A man refuses to conform to life in a rural prison.

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   96,525 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Donn Pearce (screenplay) and
Frank Pierson (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Cool Hand Luke on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 November 1967 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
"What we've got here is failure to communicate." See more »
Plot:
A man refuses to conform to life in a rural prison. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 6 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
What we have here is no failure See more (253 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Paul Newman ... Luke

George Kennedy ... Dragline

J.D. Cannon ... Society Red
Lou Antonio ... Koko

Robert Drivas ... Loudmouth Steve

Strother Martin ... Captain

Jo Van Fleet ... Arletta

Clifton James ... Carr

Morgan Woodward ... Boss Godfrey

Luke Askew ... Boss Paul
Marc Cavell ... Rabbitt
Richard Davalos ... Blind Dick

Robert Donner ... Boss Shorty
Warren Finnerty ... Tattoo

Dennis Hopper ... Babalugats
John McLiam ... Boss Keen

Wayne Rogers ... Gambler

Harry Dean Stanton ... Tramp (as Dean Stanton)

Charles Tyner ... Boss Higgins

Ralph Waite ... Alibi

Anthony Zerbe ... Dog Boy
Buck Kartalian ... Dynamite

Joy Harmon ... The Girl
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Joe Don Baker ... Fixer (uncredited)
James Bradley ... (uncredited)

James Gammon ... Sleepy (uncredited)
Norman Goodwins ... Stupid blonde (uncredited)

Chuck Hicks ... Chief (uncredited)

Rance Howard ... Sheriff (uncredited)
James Jeter ... Wickerman (uncredited)
Kim Kahana ... Convict (uncredited)
Robert Luster ... Jabo (uncredited)
Donn Pearce ... Sailor (uncredited)
John Pearce ... John (uncredited)
Cyril 'Chips' Robinson ... Ben (uncredited)
Eddie Rosson ... Luke's Nephew (uncredited)

Rush Williams ... Patrolman (uncredited)

Directed by
Stuart Rosenberg 
 
Writing credits
Donn Pearce (screenplay) and
Frank Pierson (screenplay) (as Frank R. Pierson)

Donn Pearce (novel)

Produced by
Gordon Carroll .... producer
Carter De Haven Jr. .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Lalo Schifrin 
 
Cinematography by
Conrad L. Hall (director of photography) (as Conrad Hall)
 
Film Editing by
Sam O'Steen 
 
Art Direction by
Cary Odell 
 
Set Decoration by
Fred Price 
 
Costume Design by
Howard Shoup 
 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup supervisor
Jean Burt Reilly .... supervising hair stylist
 
Production Management
Arthur S. Newman Jr. .... unit manager (as Arthur Newman)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hank Moonjean .... assistant director
 
Art Department
John Barton .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Craig Binkley .... set dresser (uncredited)
Don Miller .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Wes Webb .... carpenter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Larry Jost .... sound
Dan Wallin .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
 
Stunts
M. James Arnett .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Hicks .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jordan Cronenweth .... camera operator (uncredited)
Thomas Del Ruth .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Michael A. Jones .... assistant chief lighting technician (uncredited)
Michael A. Jones .... rigging gaffer (uncredited)
Harry Sundby .... chief electrician (uncredited)
Robert C. Thomas .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Barney Kessel .... musician: guitar, soundtrack (uncredited)
Tommy Morgan .... musician: harmonica soloist (uncredited)
Dan Wallin .... scoring mixer (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
126 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:M | Canada:A (Nova Scotia) | Finland:K-16 | France:-12 | Germany:16 | Ireland:15 | Ireland:12 (blu-ray) (2008) | Netherlands:12 | New Zealand:PG | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | Spain:7 | Sweden:15 | UK:15 | USA:PG | USA:Approved (certificate #21450) | USA:GP (re-rating) (1970)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Jack Lemmon was the owner of Jalem Productions, which co-produced many of his films as well as Cool Hand Luke (1967).See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: During the road tarring scene, the "boss" is walking in the midst of the crew shoveling sand in the close ups (he even gets sand on his shoes, which he inexplicably, doesn't punish), yet long view shots has him walking well, well behind the road crews' working area.See more »
Quotes:
Luke:Yeah well... sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Sandlot (1993)See more »
Soundtrack:
Just a Closer Walk With TheeSee more »

FAQ

Is this movie based on a book?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
How many boiled eggs does Luke eat?
See more »
What we have here is no failure, 21 June 2012
Author: David Ferguson (fergusontx@gmail.com) from Dallas, Texas

Greetings again from the darkness. I went way too many years without watching this movie again, so when Cinemark included it in the summer classic film series, I was in my seat nice and early. Mention this movie and the first thing people do is quote one of the most famous lines in movie history: "What we have here is failure to communicate." No question that's a great line. But there is so much more to this movie and it holds up beautifully 45 years later.

Based on the novel by Donn Pearce, who spent two years on a chain-gang, this is the story of Luke (Paul Newman) who just can't bring himself to conform to the rules, regardless whether those be the rules of the military, society, prison, or those self-imposed by the convicts. We are introduced to Luke as he drunkenly cuts off the top of parking meters on main street of a small town. Later, in a throw away line, we learn he was gaining revenge on someone. It's the clear indication that while he doesn't always want to fit in, Luke clearly knows right from wrong.

There are so many terrific scenes in this film, that it's not possible to discuss each. Every scene with the prison warden, played by Strother Martin, is intense. Each of the Boss guards are frightening, especially Morgan Woodward as the sharpshooter behind the mirrored shades. There are numerous impactful scenes featuring the group of convicts. Even though we learn little about the individuals, we realize the fragile male psyche is on full display. Despite the power of all of these characters and scenes, the real strength of the film is the relationship between Luke and Dragline (George Kennedy). Watching the early cat and mouse game, and the subsequent transfer of power, feature two amazing actors at the top of their game.

George Kennedy rightfully won the Best Supporting Actor award and continued on to become one of the most successful and prolific character actors of the 70's and 80's, and his career culminated with his iconic role in the Naked Gun series. As for Paul Newman, this is one of his best performance in a long line of standout performances. This one is in the middle stage of his career and he exuded manliness with a touch of sensitivity. He and Strother Martin would meet again in one of the best sequences of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Watching Luke win over all the convicts, including the previous leader played by Kennedy is stunning, yet gut-wrenching when offset by the scenes with the guards who are hell bent on getting Luke to understand his place. They understand the risk he poses to the systematic rhythms of the prison.

The supporting cast is downright incredible. This was the feature film debut for: Ralph Waite (4 years later he became the beloved paternal figure of TV's The Waltons); Joe Don Baker(Buford Pusser from Walking Tall); James Gammon (later the crusty manager in Major League); and Anthony Zerbe, another iconic character actor of the 70's and 80's. Also featured are Dennis Hopper, Harry Dean Stanton (singing a few songs), Wayne Rogers (from MASH), Richard Davalos (James Dean's brother Aron in East of Eden), and Rance Howard (Ron's dad as the sheriff). In a brief, but truly great scene, Jo Van Fleet (also from East of Eden), appears as Arletta, and we quickly understand Luke's background.

Often overlooked by film historians, "Lucille" putting on a show for the convicts as she washes her car, is a scene that is meant for more than titillation. As she creatively buffs the windows, the reaction of the convicts reminds us that these are still men and no amount of humiliation and degradation can change that. One of my friends argues that Joy Harmon was clearly cheated out of an Oscar for this scene.

The score is the handy work of Lalo Schifrin and expertly captures the moment ... especially in the black top scene. Director Stuart Rosenberg was known only for his TV work when he got this script. He went on to direct another prison movie in 1980 called Brubaker. Starring Newman's Butch Cassidy co-star Robert Redford, the film was a decent prison drama, but not at the level of Cool Hand Luke ... which by the way, was installed into the National Film Registry in 2005.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Trivia info incorrect...Boss Godfreys' glasses Gatorx37
What was Dragline in for? banzaibill
Does this film remind anyone else of 'one flew over the cuckoo's nest'? scscmick
Car washing scene XLCH1000
Let's talk Coolest Film Characters Ever...with a caveat kanuffelrik
Hot Day and Jackets? dark_seed81
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