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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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Popularity
2,598 ( 656)
Top Rated Movies #176 | 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:

On the chain gang, they'd seen every kind of man...but Luke became a legend. 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:

Cool Hand Luke 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

The uncredited role of the Sheriff was played by Rance Howard, father of Ron and Clint Howard. See more »

Goofs

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

The Girl: [Washing her car with the radio on loud to get the Prisoners attention]
Dragline: Hey, Lord... whatever I done, don't strike me blind for another couple of minutes.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 25th Hour (2002) 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

 
A classic that became a big part of my life
15 April 2016 | by prodigalorphan-72099See all my reviews

I first saw "Cool Hand Luke" the first week it came out. Went to see it with my father at a theater on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. We were just a few blocks away from the hospital where my Mom was dying of cancer and we just needed a break. It was cathartic. Feeling as beat up and left for dead as I was at the time, I came across a character who knew how to take the punches. "Luke" is a beautifully crafted film. Not one wasted frame or moment. Donn Pearce and Frank Pierson's screenplay is nothing less than a working man's parable of a truly good soul who just couldn't seem to get a break. In ways, it could be said he truly didn't let himself. But the strength within Luke that would not let him compromise who he was for who he was told to be, the resilience to fight back against those who tried to fight him on that was inspirational. Whether it was a carefully chosen remark or just one of them Luke looks, They knew They couldn't knock him out no matter how badly They knocked him down. Seems he handled life like that, and it was an example I've clung to and have tried to follow in the almost fifty subsequent years. Conrad Hall's cinematography was breathtaking, providing the scope of all the integral parts of the story with the immediacy of all the most intimate moments. Any single frame could hang on your living room wall as the centerpiece. The cast: Dennis Hopper, Strother Martin, Lou Antonio, Ralph Waite ... and George Kennedy. Academy Award Winner George Kennedy. "Dragline". The most unforgettable "gentle giant" I believe I've ever seen on the silver screen. Each and every one of them, in all their glory and in the simplest of nuances, helped raise Paul Newman's masterful portrayal to an ever higher level, maybe his best work ever. The character is very much the story in "Cool Hand Luke" and the ensemble brings it to life. Frustrating, challenging, confusing, pain- in-the-ass life with just enough of that rebellious spirit to bring hope to those facing some of their tougher times. I saw the film four more times that first year, and probably twice each year since whenever I could find it. Check in with Luke and the boys for a breath of fresh air and some world-shaking hope. Can't speak for anyone else, but Luke is right up there with Atticus Finch for me when it comes to celluloid heroes, these are the two whose stories got me through some really, really bleak times. And for me, "Cool Hand Luke" was ultimately a story of hope. The story of a man who never gave in. Never gave up. And never stopped grinning. All that they piled on him, all they tried to bury him under ... just wasn't worth his getting worked up over. Wasn't gonna get to his spirit.


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