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 -- 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   109,216 votes »
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Up 4% 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:
No Failure To Communicate See more (257 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:

Did You Know?

200 hard boiled eggs were provided for the one of the film's most famous sequences. Due to clever editing, Paul Newman only ate about 8 in total. The rest of the eggs were all consumed by the rest of the cast and crew which led to extreme cases of flatulence the next day.See more »
Anachronisms: At one point in the movie a "white on red" stop sign is shown. In the film's late-1940s time period, stop signs were "black on yellow."See more »
Dragline:That's my darling Luke. He grins like a baby but bites like a gator.See more »
Plastic JesusSee more »


Is 'Cool Hand Luke' based on a book?
Why did Luke destroy the parking meters?
Does Luke die at the end?
See more »
10 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
No Failure To Communicate, 2 June 2015
Author: garthbarnes-11921 from United States

Spoilers Ahead:

As an earlier excellent reviewer wrote the film is about conformity and Luke's inability to fit in the role cut out for him. He says,"I tried Arletta...," but it is much more than this: it is the voice of the counterculture whose hero Luke is. Like Dirty Harry, Luke looks at 'the man's world,' and sees nothing that interests him. A modern, much lesser parallel is Coppola's RUMBLE FISH. Rourke is like Luke; he just cannot find anything that is offered that appeals to him. His rebellion is existential; he simply has a being in the world that will not work anywhere. So, he becomes nihilistic like Motorcycle Boy. Both Harry, Luke and Motorcycle Boy have great courage but they were born in the wrong place and the wrong time. Boredom consumes Luke; the egg eating contest, besides providing the only levity in the film, delineates the depth of Luke's nihilistic rebellion. He vents at the Deity; on the road and in the church daring Him to let me have it," you there Old Man?"

It must be seen for what it is at its core; like all films it is a product of its zeitgeist. Here, it is the 60s, get the man. Like Harry, the system is stupid, broken and cruel. Luke sneers contemptuously at the boss and says,"saying its your job don't make it right boss." The other target is the hypocrisy of his keepers protecting their tender consciences from the cruelty they are subjecting the prisoners too. I love,"I wish you'd stop being so good to me captain." This provokes Strother Martin because they all need to hide in the 'man's game' of putative rehabilitation instead of sadistic punishment which is what it is. Luke's strength that wins the hearts of all the others is also his fatal flaw. Luke cannot stop his rebellion; it is inherently nihilistic like Motorcycle Boy's. He wishes to die; after Arletta goes the last tether to existence is cut. He goes down a death spiral. Dragline looks at him befuddled; why does he not stop?: because he can't.

Yes, like both of Rosenberg's prison movies this and BRUBAKER they are about the cruelty of prison. Yet, COOL HAND Luke is a study of an existential drop out; the world simply has no place for him. It is an error to attack the movie as not really a movie but a series of episodes. These episodes: egg contest, dragline fight, escapes, all function to reveal Luke's Dasein or being there. Luke is escaping but from life; he does not really grasp it himself. Arletta's death is the final straw; as he sings PLASTIC Jesus, that is how the world is to him; an empty, phony facade full of rule making hypocritical liars. He wants no more of it; they break him, but the pull downward is ineluctable. He cannot help himself. The last sneering mockery that brings about his death is the quintessence of Luke: he vomits back their lying hypocrisy. We see astonishment on his face; the world he never really was in destroyed him.

It is a sad, dark often sacrilegious film; it may deviate from my beliefs that does not make me honor it any less. PAUL NEWMAN'S BEST MOVIE. Watch what society does to deviants; it is not a pretty picture.

Was the above review useful to you?
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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
Jesus Symbolism present in the source novel? nowheremanbeatles1
Boss Paul during the church scene(possible spoilers) gressos
Anyone who used to like this movie but has now changed their mind? fentress
Is This Movie Boring To Younger Viewers? arnomation
Everything right, but the sound track notorious918
Let's talk Coolest Film Characters Ever...with a caveat kanuffelrik
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