Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cool Hand Luke (1967) "On the chain gang"

Cool Hand Luke (1967)  / Warner Bros.
Directed By: Stuart Rosenberg
Starring: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Jo Van Fleet, Clifton James & Dennis Hopper

Tagline: "What we've got here is failure to communicate."

Nominared for 4 Academy Awards in 1968 includung Best Actor for Paul Newman.
Academy Awards
1968WonOscarBest Actor (Supporting Role) - George Kennedy
NominatedOscarBest Lead Actor  - Paul Newman
Best Music, Original Music Score - Lalo Schifrin
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Donn Pearce & Frank Pierson


In the late 1940's our leading man Lucas "Luke" Jackson (Newman) is caught in a drunken act of cutting the tops off of parking meters. The policae officers caught him and then he was sentenced to go to prison for 2 years in which he had to travel to Florida prison camp to do the entire sentense. Lucas should thought twice about that one foolish evening going downtown and taking anger out on public property.

Luke is now in the new home for the next 2 years where the iron fisted Captain (Martin) rules the prison. This captain knows all and quickly does not like Luke. The other inmantes quickly learn and find out that Luke is a decorated WWII hero and is then given the name "Lusa War-Hero" though from the start our hero fails to learn the pecking order that is already been established in the prison and does not adhere to it. The leader in the prison itself that tells everyone how it is going to be is Dragline (Kennedy) and the pair of Dragline/Luke spar it out since not seeing eye to eye with how things are going be managned. The guards watch and enjoy the fight and do nothing to stop. The fight itself is long and Luke is severely outmatched by Dragline but will not stand down nor stay down which gets the respoect from Dragline in the end along with everyone else's.

During a poker game and a very good bluffing from Luke, Dragline then gives him the nickname: "Cool Hand Luke." Luke gets a lovely visit from his mother an nephew that renews his outlook that perhaps things will get better soon. At the prison camp life is very rough where Luke has to endure solitary confinement since being disobedient. After all of these actions that try to tear his inner strength and determination Luke still has a big spirit that can and will not be broken by no one and nothing that is done. The other prisones around him look up and admire him for this trait.  He continues to smile at the face of guards and others like Boss Godfery (Morgan Woodward) and showing that he still has his independence.

A big momentous day happens when Kule leads all the other prisoners tasked to pave a road in a single day. They prove it can be done. The prison now marks Luke as a trouble and they need to squash this here and now.  Upon finding about his mother's passing the prison rather then allowing him to do his regular tasks places him into solitary confinement since they are afriad he may try to escape and attend his mother's funeral which they are right now in his mind he wants nothing more than to escape.

Luke tried to escape the first time and this does not work and is captured the Captian speaks to the prisoners and warns them of trying to do this again. There is another escape performed that at first is successful but short lived and then is returned to prison. Then finally there is a third escape that Dragline decides to escape alongside Luke. Maybe this 3rd escape with Dragline by his side is what Luke needs and is freed both mentally and phyically from all of the abuse that he could simply not ensure any longer.....you will have to see the film to see if the thrid time is a charm......

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