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Cool Hand Luke [VHS]

4.8 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, J.D. Cannon, Lou Antonio, Robert Drivas
  • Directors: Stuart Rosenberg
  • Format: VHS
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Warner
  • VHS Release Date: 12 April 1999
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CYGX
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 542,633 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
This is a review for the Bluray. Somehow I have managed to go through life without ever seeing Cool Hand Luke. Despite hearing my wife go on and on about eggs, I had still missed it. I bought the Bluray on an Amazon special offer a couple of months ago, and we have just got around to watching it. I'm now sitting here wondering why on earth I waited so long.

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.
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Format: DVD
Cool Hand Luke is yet again proof of Paul Newman's iconic status as a actor. Given the fact Newman was 42 when this film was made, one has to acknowledge that he was something special and cinema rarely has produced such actors with such a raw charisma, such a warmth and presence in front of the camera.

This film is up there with 'The Sting' and 'Butch Cassidy' in terms of classic Newman. The script and characterisation is just as entertaining and quirky as anything else Newman has appeared in.

Cool Hand Luke is more an analysis in the pride of the male ego and the systematic attempt to break it. It takes many twists and turns, but Luke always seems to have to edge over the system, his inmates and its tyrannical guards and wardens. Although its ending may seem not the one the audience could have wished for, Newman plays his role with such vigour and energy that really it doesnt matter what ending this film has - its just fun watching someone as good as Newman in a film as good as this.
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By A Customer on 4 Nov. 2000
Format: VHS Tape
"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!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
A great 60s film when Newman was at his peak as an actor and a star. Rebellious Luke Jackson is committed to a chain gang in the Southern states where the system, and the cruel guards, are determined to break him. the film suffers slightly from recurring religious imagery, making comparisons between Luke (note the biblical name) and Christ. The end is genuinely sad and catches the audience by surprise, one having been lead to believe that Luke will ultimately win. A great transfer on this BluRay, and well worth having for any serious film fan.
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Format: DVD
Paul Newman stars as the loner who will not conform to the arbitrary, oppressive rules of his prison captivity. As the film opens, Luke is using a pipe cutter to cut the tops off of parking meters. He is drinking, but not violent. When the police arrive, he is arrested. He is tried, and sentenced to two years in prison.
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!
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