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Cool Hand Luke (1967)

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

Director:

Stuart Rosenberg

Writers:

Donn Pearce (screenplay), Frank Pierson (screenplay) (as Frank R. Pierson) | 1 more credit »
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2,297 ( 1,037)
Top Rated Movies #172 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
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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:

He was a cool customer. . .until the law made it hot for him! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La leyenda del indomable See more »

Filming Locations:

Jacksonville, Florida, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,217,773
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jalem Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Newman enjoyed making the film, and when he wasn't needed on-set, often tooled around the Stockton area either in a blue Mercury convertible or on a motorcycle. "I had great fun with that part", he said. "I liked that man." See more »

Goofs

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. See more »

Quotes

[Luke wins a poker hand on a bluff]
Dragline: Nothin'! A handful of nothin'. You stupid mullet head, he beat you with nothin', just like today when he kept comin' back at me, with nothin'.
Luke: Yeah, well... sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Yes, Dear: Greg's Big Day (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Midnight Special
Written by Howard Washington Odum
Performed by Harry Dean Stanton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Influential 60's prison drama
13 June 2016 | by Red-BarracudaSee all my reviews

Set in the rural south, a man serves time on a chain gang after vandalising parking meters. When inside, he stubbornly refuses to bow down to anybody, be it the prison authorities or his fellow inmates. Soon, though, he becomes a symbol of hope to the other prisoners and his rebellious nature teaches them that their integrity is the most important thing they have.

This anti-authoritarian film is very much in a similar mould to Bonnie and Clyde which also came out in 1967. In both of these films the establishment are shown to be the bad guys and the criminals anti-heroes deserving of our sympathy. With this in mind it would only be fair to say that, like Bonnie and Clyde, Cool Hand Luke could be regarded as one of the very first New Hollywood movies. It certainly is a film which indicates that the cinematic norms were changing. It's also one of the first of a new type of prison drama which tried to reach for more authenticity. In many ways it is a precursor to the classic incarcerated-man-against-the-system movie One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). For me, it's not in the same league as that one but it's pretty obviously a very influential work. It benefits from a good ensemble cast, with Paul Newman leading the picture very well, with impressive support in particular from George Kennedy who would go on to win an Oscar for his efforts.


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