Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Cool Hand Luke
What we've got here is failure to communicate.
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. Nevertheless, the camp staff actively works to crush Luke until he finally breaks.
Any man who doesn't like this movie gets a night in the box.
Paul Newman was a legendary, gifted actor, and when I hear his name the first thing that comes to mind is Cool Hand Luke. The film is more than just a prison story, it is a fantastic character study about a man whom is incapable of conforming to the rules of society, both in and out of lock up. When we first see Luke, he is intoxicated and destroying parking meters by cutting off their heads. When the police arrive his reaction makes him seem merely like a drunk making a dumb decision, but as the film goes on it is obvious he simply cannot stop himself from breaking the rules, especially when faced with the strict routine of prison life.
Brilliant performances by the entire ensemble, but Paul Newman as Luke and George Kennedy as Dragline are clearly the stars here, stealing every single scene. A great film that I had not revisited in years.
What a strange film. It's kind of like the Birdman of Animal House, or Shawshank of the Nerds. A prison film, but with the heart of a frat house comedy. I'm still not sure what to make of it.
I liked Newman a lot, though I can't say I was totally sold on some of the emotional beats that come for him part way through the film. As the quiet, but cocky, sly guy who could essentially run the joint without really saying a word, I thought he was awesome. He represents strength and hope to everyone there and you can see how invested they become in him later in the film.
There are some great sequences here, like when…
"What we've got here is failure to communicate".
Paul Newman has the bluest eyes of anyone I have ever seen. On blu ray they sparkle like diamonds just like this film. The quintessential chain gang movie this follows ex-war hero Newman on his road to self-destruction. Southern hospitality doesn't come much meaner than this as our Paul becomes the ultimate anti-hero in a cinematic landmark. Directed with aplomb by Stuart Rosenberg with a stellar supporting cast and a blistering performance from it's star man this is a wonderful film. Harry Dean Stanton,Dennis Hopper,Joe Don Baker,Anthony Zerbe and Oscar winner George Kennedy make up a cast of memorable screw-ups amid the baking southern heat. Newman brings to life one of the…
"What we've got here is failure to communicate."
George Kennedy may have won an Oscar (best actor in a supporting role) for his performance, but make no mistake, this is Paul Newman’s film. He owns every scene he is in. Newman was in fact nominated for an Oscar (best actor in a leading role), but lost to Rod Steiger who won it for In The Heat of the Night.
This film may not be the all time classic some make it out to be, but I love it. It’s not only worth seeing for Newman’s performance, but the rest of the cast is superb (which includes Dennis Hopper in a minor role).
This Stuart Rosenberg directed film, on the surface, is a film about breaking the system and comradery. That in itself is enough to sustain the movie. It’s so friendly and open to us – large in part due to Newman’s incredibly relatable performance as the titular character (Lucas Jackson – Inmate #37). No doubt, Newman’s performance was a major influence on Tim Robbins’ portrayal of Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption (as is the entire film, and an array of shots from the film). In both movies, we see man that comes in with nothing on his record (very petty in Luke’s case) – a respectable man – that sees this broken system and decides to break it in his…
Newman and Kennedy are so good in this. Great movie.
Enorme película con esos ojazos azules y esa leyenda de rebelde sin causa.
Sinceramente genial, con esa analogía a la religión y a nunca dejarse vencer.
English sub English
Absolutely love this film. An all time favorite. Caught it on TV late at night with a weird aspect ratio and people were talking over it, so this isn't any sort of formal review and don't expect one, but watching it again I was struck by how sort of formless and plotless the whole thing was. It's a series of juicy and captivating set pieces, and for the inattentive viewer, you might wonder what the hell it's about. But it's the pinnacle example of the counter culture movement and the rise of the anti-hero. Newman's a friggin' genius and you see it all at the end when George Kennedy talks about that Luke Smile. Sometimes nothin' is a real cool hand.
I'm trying to check out more 'classics', and this was the next one. Well, I certainly don't feel the same as most about this one. Everyone says it is a masterpiece, or something great. I barely thought it was good, to be honest. Paul Newman is certainly cool, and good as the main character of Luke. He exudes that charm and rebelliousness that he is known for.
There's almost a whos who kind of cast here, with lots of familiar faces from films I've seen well after this one was made. All in all, it is a good film, but I was just bored through some parts. The subtle nature in which the prison captain and wardens are breaking the…
Early New Hollywood filmmaking at some of its finest. Paul Newman is one of the coolest people alive and the supporting cast is also great, especially George Kennedy. One of the best anti-hero movies of all time.
"Sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand."
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I remember being quite fond of this film but had forgotten how cool Cool Hand Luke really is.
This film features the
Finest acting performance
In the whole decade.
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