The greatest films of all time as voted on by the Criterion subreddit using a ranked top 10 methodology from…
Cool Hand Luke
What we've got here is failure to communicate.
When petty criminal Luke Jackson is sentenced to two years in a Florida prison farm, he doesn't play by the rules of either the sadistic warden or the yard's resident heavy, Dragline, who ends up admiring the new guy's unbreakable will. Luke's bravado, even in the face of repeated stints in the prison's dreaded solitary confinement cell, "the box," make him a rebel hero to his fellow convicts and a thorn in the side of the prison officers.
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.
When he's eating the eggs and starts doing squats and the camera rocks back and forth with him, oh, it's just the best thing ever. Conrad Hall, what a champ.
"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 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…
Growing up as I did in the 80s and 90s, this film is closely connected in my mind to Guns 'n' Roses' Civil War (though this was a first time watch), but my mind drifted towards Steady Rollin' by Two Gallants after the end credits. Mainly this part:
"Well I come from the old time baby,
too late for you to save me.
If I remain then I'm to blame."
I'll be back with more, so Zap won't stab me, but for now, I'll just say that Conrad Hall bossed it.
A film that after it starts you aren't sure if you are going to like it or not, but it quickly grows on you as Paul Newman's wonderful performance unfolds. After several viewings the film appears to be timeless and captures an era of America that is long forgotten.
Something about Cool Hand Luke really resonated with me. He, like he did with most of the other members of the chain gang, had become a hero. He had a spirit that seemed unable to be extinguished. He was independent, individualistic, and held an almost mythical power against the authority. Sure he committed a crime to get to where he was, but it was as if in reality he could do no wrong. He didn’t run or resist when he was caught - he just laughed with a big grin as he’s arrested. It also seems questionable that he was cutting off the heads of parking meters and not collecting them for money. He wasn’t doing it for gain but…
His body is our communion. Please eat his rice.
I mean, what else are you gonna do on a Sunday but watch Paul Newman stuff himself with 50 eggs?
Weirder than I expected. Eggs are eaten, cars are washed.
Magnificent. I don't think it gets as good as Paul Newman.
An enjoyable prison drama movie starring Paul Newman.
4 eggs out of five
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All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…