IMDb > Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Cool Hand Luke
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Cool Hand Luke (1967) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 41 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
Cool Hand Luke -- When Luke Jackson is arrested for drunkenly vandalizing parking meters, he is sentenced to serve time on a prison chain gang.
Cool Hand Luke -- Trailer for this classic starring Paul Newman
Cool Hand Luke -- A man refuses to conform to life in a rural prison.


User Rating:
8.2/10   104,625 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Donn Pearce (screenplay) and
Frank Pierson (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Cool Hand Luke on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 November 1967 (USA) See more »
"What we've got here is failure to communicate." See more »
A man refuses to conform to life in a rural prison. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Unforgettable Paul Newman as a cool prisoner in a Southern chain gang who flees and is recaptured See more (256 total) »


  (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)
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
Ben Benay .... musician (studio guitarist) (uncredited)
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:
126 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
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?

In later years, composer Lalo Schifrin would often be asked why he used the theme for "Eyewitness News" (1968) in the film. Schifrin would then rather bemusedly explain that he composed the music for the film and "Eyewitness News" (1968) adopted it.See more »
Anachronisms: Dollar bills seen during egg eating contest is Sixties-era money, not that of decades-earlier period in which movie takes place.See more »
Arletta:Ya know, sometimes I wished people was like dogs, Luke.See more »
Movie Connections:
Just a Closer Walk With TheeSee more »


Why did Luke destroy the parking meters?
Is 'Cool Hand Luke' based on a book?
Does Luke die at the end?
See more »
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Unforgettable Paul Newman as a cool prisoner in a Southern chain gang who flees and is recaptured, 21 June 2012
Author: ma-cortes

Interesting flick about the deprivations and subhuman conditions of a chain gang and a rebel prisoner to whom wardens will attempt to break his free spirit . Based on a real story by Donn Pearce who wrote the novel on which the movie is based , he spent 2 years on a chain gang for safe-breaking ; Pearce makes a cameo appearance in the movie as a convict named Sailor . It deals with Luke (Paul Newman ) who is sent to a prison camp , where he gets a reputation as a hard man . He becomes a prisoner on a Southern chain gang , there the head of the gang hates him , and attempts to break him by beating him up . It doesn't work, and he gains respect and not even the deprivations of these wrong conditions will break his spirit . Irrepressible Luke even manages to win the admiration of his rival (George Kennedy) in the chain gang . Luke is visited by his ill mother (Jo Van Fleet was only 11 years older than Paul Newman , Bette Davis was first offered the role of Luke's mother, but refused the bit part) ; after that , Luke refuses to conform to life in a rural prison and he getaways , but is caught, but escapes again .

Modern slant on chain gang sub-genre with one of Paul Newman's greatest interpretations from his prestigious and long career , here as an obstinate , stubborn prisoner . George Kennedy's acting was equally excellent and deservedly won him a supporting Academy Award . Rosenberg's magnificent direction that underlines the strength of personalities involved , undercutting the less pleasant aspects and putting the focus squarely on Newman's tough performance and including the memorably unforgettable egg-eating contest . Top-notch secondary cast who gives splendid performances as Strother Martin , Lou Antonio , Wayne Rogers , J.D. Cannon , Dennis Hooper , Harry Dean Stanton , Morgan Woodward , Joe Don Baker , and Ralph Waite , Anthony Zerbe's film debuts , among others . Good sets and fine scenarios , as a Southern prison camp was built just north of Stockton, California , a dozen buildings were constructed, including a barracks, mess hall, warden's quarters, guard shack, and dog kennels . Colorful and glimmer cinematography by Conrad L. Hall . Atmospheric musical score by Lalo Schifrin in his usual style .

Stuart Rosenberg was one of the best TV directors of the 50s and 60s and subsequently realized segment of crime and mystery series . In 1967 directed his first film , ¨Mystery Inc¨ , and subsequently the successful ¨Cool Hand Luke¨ with Paul Newman . Rosenberg and Newman attempted in vain to repeat the formula in three further movies together as ¨WUSA movie¨, ¨Pocket money¨ and ¨The drowning pool¨ . However he achieved other two hit smashes , in the terror genre with ¨The Amityville horror¨ and again with a prison film titled ¨Brubaker¨. Since then Rosenberg's output has been unsatisfactory and sporadic as ¨The Pope of Greenwich village ¨ a Mickey Rourke vehicle . Rosenberg directed 5 actors in Oscar nominated performances: Peter Falk, Paul Newman, Lee Grant, Geraldine Page and of course George Kennedy with his top-drawer performance as Dragline . Rating : Above average , wholesome watching . Essential and indispensable seeing for the Paul Newman's fans .

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (256 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Luke is Christ SenorDuke
Is this b&w or colored? pferdemann
Does this film remind anyone else of 'one flew over the cuckoo's nest'? scscmick
50 eggs!? horneddemon
Let's talk Coolest Film Characters Ever...with a caveat kanuffelrik
Who was that guy they put in the box for 'complaining' and why? Angus-8
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Midnight Express Easy Rider Empire of the Sun Gone with the Wind Children of Men
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb top 250 movies IMDb Crime section
IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.