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Cool Hand Luke (Deluxe Edition) [DVD] 
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Luke (an Oscar-nominated Paul Newman) is sent to a Deep South chain gang after smashing up some parking meters. Convict boss Dragline (an Oscar-winning George Kennedy) tries to crack the new inmate's spirit but Luke refuses to be broken. Reformed safecracker Donn Pearce based his novel and screenplay on his own experiences of imprisonment.
Paul Newman gives one of the defining performances of his career and cemented his place as a beautiful, rebel screen icon playing the stubbornly tough and independent title character in Cool Hand Luke. And before he became familiar as a sidekick in 1970s' disaster movies (Earthquake and the Airport movies), George Kennedy won an Oscar for playing Dragline, the brutal chain-gang boss who tries to beat loner Luke's cool out of him. It's a classic rebel-against-the-repressive-institution story in the line of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest or The Shawshank Redemption. Certain moments have become classics--particularly the hardboiled egg-eating contest and the immortal line (drooled by Strother Martin, as a sadistic redneck prison officer): "What we have here is a failure to communicate". And don't forget, Luke is also the source of the oft-quoted driving ditty: "I don't care if it rains or freezes, long as I have my plastic Jesus, right here on the dashboard of my car." --Jim Emerson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Despite some good supporting roles this film belongs to Paul Newman. Although the acting and dialogue is variable, Paul Newman's cheerful, non-conformist character is absolutely iconic. I thought he was good in The Hustler, but I would say this is right up there, and possibly even shades it. You keep willing him to escape, to win, whilst knowing that he isn't going to. I started off thinking - rarely can anyone have paid such a heavy price for destroying municipal property- then realised, actually that wasn't what he was punished for, it was for refusing to play by the rules. Although the film was over two hours long it didn't try to do everything. It left gaps for you to fill in yourself, and was all the stronger for that. An example was, after he was caught destroying parking meters, we didn't see him again until he arrived at the prison.
It has a great tagline as well:- "What we've got here is failure to communicate."
Picture Quality was very good. I often find scenery works best in HD, but here close-ups of faces were detailed and memorable. Watch out particularly for scenes reflected in the mirrored sunglasses of a warden. Colours were strong and natural looking with skin tones working well. It is presented in 2.4:1 so you are looking at it being letter-boxed on a widescreen TV, but that is how it was intended to be seen, and suits the film very well.
Audio Quality is much weaker.Read more ›
There is no dream of victory or success, any moral mission or revenge, but detached indifference, and a life lived on his terms. Co-author Donn Pearce spent two years on a chain gang, and the result is a grim, unflinching portrayal of `man's inhumanity to man'.
On the chain gang, Luke encourages the other prisoners, by his own attitude and energy, to excel at their menial tasks. This builds camaraderie among the prisoners. They are forced to shovel sand over a freshly tarred road, and perform the job with zeal and a sense of competition, and complete the job early, to the amazement of the guards. This is a high point in the story.
George Kennedy (as Dragline) heads the cast of fellow prisoners who express the full range of human emotion at Luke and his actions; pity, contempt, fear, disgust, but also as the story unfolds, outright admiration, hero worship, genuine comradeship and sympathy.
In my view, the success of the story lies in the effect Luke has on his fellow prisoners. Champion is just the role he does not want, he yells at them `you're all feeding off me!'
In a confined world where normal human values were conspicuously absent, Luke stands as a contrast, but in a mirror of the world today, does not stand for anything in a sense. At his third escape attempt, when he and we, his audience, knew he would die, he repeats the captains earlier words. `What we've got here is.. a failure to communicate!Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Should be in everyone's collection - as it says on the title "Cool"Published 1 month ago by Liz Lilleyman
a good film,that stands up well today. it can be sad,funny,and show human spiritPublished 1 month ago by david cooper