Cool Hand Luke (1967)



Critic Consensus: Though hampered by Stuart Rosenberg's direction, Cool Hand Luke is held aloft by a stellar script and one of Paul Newman's most indelible performances.

Movie Info

Paul Newman was nominated for an Oscar and George Kennedy received one for his work in this allegorical prison drama. Luke Jackson (Paul Newman) is sentenced to a stretch on a southern chain gang after he's arrested for drunkenly decapitating parking meters. While the avowed ambition of the captain (Strother Martin) is for each prisoner to "get their mind right," it soon becomes obvious that Luke is not about to kowtow to anybody. When challenged to a fistfight by fellow inmate Dragline (George … More

Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Donn Pearce, Frank Pierson, Frank R. Pierson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 3, 1997
Warner Bros.


as Lucas Jackson

as Dragline

as Society Red

as Babalugats

as Arletta

as Loudmouth Steve

as Boss Godfrey

as Boss Paul Hunnicut

as Dog Boy

as Rabbitt

as Blind Dick

as Gambler

as Edgar "Tramp" Potter

as Boss Shorty

as Boss Kean

as Boss Higgins

as Alibi

as The Girl

as Sleepy

as Stupid Blondie

as Chief

as John Sr.

as John Jr.

as Patrolman

as Wickerman

as Sheriff

as Blind Dick
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Cool Hand Luke

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Critic Reviews for Cool Hand Luke

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (7)

Stuart Rosenberg's direction is a horror, but the cast teems with so many familiar faces that this 1967 film can't help but entertain.

Full Review… | April 23, 2009
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A picture of chilling dramatic power.

Full Review… | August 22, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Newman gives an excellent performance, assisted by a terriffic supporting cast, including George Kennedy, outstanding as the unofficial leader of the cons who yields first place to Newman.

Full Review… | July 22, 2008
Top Critic

A caustically witty look at the American South and its still-surviving chain gangs, with Newman in fine sardonic form as the boss-baiter who refuses to submit and becomes a hero to his fellow-prisoners.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A tough, honest film with backbone.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

As this 'Southern' turns up the heat, the sense of sadistic oppression, of being looked down on by 'the man,' swelters and burns. The glowering sun eclipses the convict in its hellfire glow. Newman/Luke's knowing smile, though, burns on.

Full Review… | June 26, 2015
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Audience Reviews for Cool Hand Luke

What elevates this engaging drama to a remarkable ode to nonconformity is definitely Paul Newman's intense performance and its taut, compelling script, which both compensate for the story's exceedingly slow-moving pace and Rosenberg's inept direction.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer


While the movie seems to have worked wonders for most, I wasn't so lucky to be one of those. That's not to say that I didn't like it altogether. Just didn't enjoy it enough as expected. Found it mediocre in almost every major department, be it scripting, acting, dialogues or screenplay. Give it a shot; may turn out to be worth your while. Even otherwise, it's not an absolute waste. Watch it (of course, at your own risk) and arrive at your own sound verdict.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer


Though the film has flaws, the performances by Newman and the whole cast are just amazing.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Cool Hand Luke Quotes

– Submitted by Micah S (18 months ago)
– Submitted by Greg H (21 months ago)
– Submitted by Dermit Z (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Mark A (3 years ago)

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