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…
Well acted throughout, well worth watching if you've not seen it!
To me this film is flawless. I know that may not be "technically" true, but each time I watch it it becomes more and more perfect. It may not make my personal top 25 of all time list, but I still think it is one of the best films ever made.
All these years after the release of "Cool Hand Luke" in 1967, all you have to do is say, "What we have here is--failure to communicate." Everyone knows the line, and everyone can identify the film, even those who may not have seen it. And here's the curious part. As they make the connection, they'll invariably smile, as if recalling a pleasant experience, a good time at the movies. Have you seen "Cool Hand Luke" lately? I have. Rarely has an important movie star suffered more, in a film wall-to-wall with physical punishment, psychological cruelty, hopelessness and equal parts of sadism and masochism.
It is a great film. On that most of us can agree. But such a film could…
A man keeps escaping from jail because...errr.
Not really the typical prison escape movie and it is sort of cliched with out much character development. Still an enjoyable watch
I Like 1967's Cool Hand Luke.
Only regret is that i didn't see this movie at a younger age. Classic.
I grew up watching this movie. Paul Newman is phenomenal. Honestly, probably my favorite actor. I feel he was just as good as Brando but kind of eclipsed by him. Anyways, the subtlety of him in this role has always been my favorite aspect of the film. Yes, it's a very Shawshank-y film with comic relief and some standard drama at first glance, but he shows so much with facial expressions alone. He really doesn't have a lot of dialogue and plays the cool guy, but the part where he plays "Plastic Jesus" is one of my favorite movie scenes. I also really love the religious themes. Luke gets frustrated and questions God a couple of times in the movie,…
It's interesting to see this movie in 2009, after 40 years of people playing cool. Paul Newman is obviously great, and George Kennedy does a fantastic job as well. The Jesus imagery gets a little heavy handed, but the movie makes you think. It makes you think about leaders and how we only want to support them when they are strong, but are not interested in helping them when they are down.
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