Cool Hand Luke

From Academic Kids

Cool Hand Luke is a 1967 American film starring Paul Newman and directed by Stuart Rosenberg.

Paul Newman stars in the title role as Luke, a prisoner in a Georgia prison camp who refuses to submit to the system. His inability to conform drives the plot of the movie, in the same vein as characters such as Winston from 1984 or McMurphy from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Luke is sent to the prison camp for cutting the heads off of parking meters, when asked why he would do such a thing the only explanation he gives is "Small town, not much to do in the evenin'." The character of Luke is often interpreted allegorically as a Christ figure, and the film plays on many aspects of the story of Jesus.

The screenplay was adapted by Donn Pearce and Frank Pierson from the novel by Pearce.

Other members of the cast include George Kennedy, J.D. Cannon, Lou Antonio, Robert Drivas, Strother Martin, Jo Van Fleet, Morgan Woodward, Wayne Rogers, Harry Dean Stanton, Dennis Hopper, and Joe Don Baker.

It won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (George Kennedy), and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Paul Newman), Best Music, Original Music Score and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.

An edited version of the "Tar Sequence" cue from the musical score, by Lalo Schifrin, has been used for many years as the news music package on several television stations' news programs (mostly those owned and operated by ABC) and was first used in 1968 on WABC-TV in New York for their Eyewitness News newscast. National Nine News in Australia still uses a modified version of the music as of June 2005. To this day many people do not know the origin of the music, which has become more associated with television news than the film itself.


Strother Martin to Paul Newman:

Now what we have here is a failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week. Which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. I don't like it anymore than you men.

This quote is used in the opening to the Guns N' Roses song Civil War.

Another quote during a punishment scene is

Luke, what's all this dirt doing in my ditch?

In the scene there was no ditch, and Luke was forced to dig one.

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