"What we've got here is failure to communicate!". The prision warden says this as he tries to humiliate and break Paul Newman's character Luke.
Luke is the hero of the prison population for his non-conformative style. This is an awe inspiring film with some truely great pieces of character acting. Paul Newman and George Kennedy are the two main stars, with Strother Martin strong as the warden. Kennedy is the prision hard man, who just can't get the better of Luke in a bare knuckle prison yard scrap. Luke just won't stay down. The scenes as the two work on the chain gangs are some of the best in the film.
Pual Newman is immense as the con who just won't reform. He has never ever done as he was told, and won't now, even in when beaten and tested to the physical limits in jail. When his mother dies, Luke begins a spiral towards self destruction, questioning everything from the system to God.
Luke is the anti-establishment hero that so many of our modern actors try to portray but are left not even fit to polish Newan's dusty prison boots.
Sharp filming and clever use of music make this a film that rises above most. It is so good it is well worth watching again and again.
"He had that ole Luke smile". Cool as you like Luke!