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Cool Hand Luke (1967) Poster

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (6) | Character error (1) | Continuity (7) | Errors in geography (1) | Factual errors (1) | Plot holes (1) | Revealing mistakes (1) | Spoilers (1)

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."
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Luke sings "Plastic Jesus," a folk song that wasn't written until 1957, well after the time period of the movie (approximately 1949).
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The time period was more likely 1958 because Luke sang, "Plastic Jesus", a folk song which was written in 1957.
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Dollar bills seen during egg eating contest is Sixties-era money, not that of decades-earlier period in which movie takes place.
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1960s vehicles are visible in the background of some scenes.
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The Korean War took place from June 5, 1950 to July 27, 1953. The time period of the movie "Cool Hand Luke" therefore could not have been in the late 1940's, approximately c1949 as indicated in IMDb Anachronisms.
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Character error 

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.
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Continuity 

Just before Luke enters the church to have his talk with God, he looks toward the church which is silhouetted against the late afternoon sky. In the next shot when he starts walking toward the church, it is dark.
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When Luke is cutting chains from ankles, he throws the axe off to his left. When one of the trackers arrives, the axe head is resting on the stump with the axe handle off to the right.
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During the fight scene with Dragline, Luke is knocked down into the dirt many times and is covered with black soil by the end. When the long shot shows Dragline walking away towards the barracks Luke has suddenly lost most of the black soil that was covering his sweat-soaked body.
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After Luke cuts his chains with the axe, he ties the chains to his ankles with a strip off his trousers. He ties his left ankle but not his right, yet as he gets up and runs away both are tied on.
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When Carr gives his famous "Night in the box" speech, just after he tells Luke he hopes he won't be any trouble, he drops the spoons with a clattering sound. In that instant, the camera cuts from a close-up to a long shot, and the cigar stump clenched in his mouth is suddenly now in his left hand.
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While Luke's mother is smoking a cigarette, it gets smaller when the camera switches angles.
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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.
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Errors in geography 

When the Walking Boss shoots the snake, it appears to be a western diamondback rattler. This species is not found in the deep south where the film takes place.
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Factual errors 

The police car shown in the opening scene and when Luke is shot is equipped with a Federal Beacon Ray Model 174. The movie is set in the late '40 and that beacon was available until 1958.
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Plot holes 

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.
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Revealing mistakes 

When boss Godfrey shoots the bird from the sky, the wire pulling it down can be seen.
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Spoilers

The goof item below may give away important plot points.

Revealing mistakes 

Just before Luke is shot in the church window, a squib goes off so that Luke is bleeding before the bullet hits him. Also, the glass in the window is blown outward even though Luke is being shot from the outside.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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