Carr: Any man loud talking spends a night in the box. You got questions, you come to me. I'm Carr, the floor walker. I'm responsible for order in here. Any man don't keep order spends a night in...
Luke: ...the box.
Carr: I hope you ain't going to be a hard case.
Luke: [Smiles, shakes head] .
A great movie about a man unwilling to conform. Its set on a prison chain-gain, it works as a comedy drama, and its a wonderful character study.
Paul Newman gives one of his best performances as a man who became bored with life and got himself sent to prison. Here he continues his loner status, but slowly starts to develop his way into the life with his fellow prisoners, eventually becoming the man they look up to.
One of these prisoners is Dragline, played in an Oscar winning performance by George Kennedy, the head honcho and foil to Luke. He and Luke form a sort of bond during this movie that takes different forms throughout.
The other side of this story is Luke's eventual refusal to accept rules of the prison system, leading to his escape attempts.
Captain: What we got here is... failure to communicate.
There is not necessarily a solid plot structure, the movie is somewhat episodic. But that doesn't matter, because it is more of a joy just to watch these characters interact. There are tons of memorable scenes and great lines.
Boss Paul: That ditch is Boss Kean's ditch. And I told him that dirt in it's your dirt. What's your dirt doin' in his ditch?
Luke: I don't know, Boss.
Boss Paul: You better get in there and get it out, boy.
The feel and style of this movie has since been used in other films, and there is a reason why, it's a well told tale about certain people in a unique setting.
The movie also tends to have some not too subtle religious subtext to it as well, applied to the status of Luke during his time spent in prison. This isn't necessarily a problem, but it certainly makes itself present and further expands upon Luke's unwillingness to lay down for anything unless he sees fit.
Dragline: He was smiling... That's right. You know, that, that Luke smile of his. He had it on his face right to the very end. Hell, if they didn't know it 'fore, they could tell right then that they weren't a-gonna beat him. That old Luke smile. Oh, Luke. He was some boy. Cool Hand Luke. Hell, he's a natural-born world-shaker.
The main thing though, is that the movie is very entertaining, featuring great work from Newman, a good theme, and as mentioned, a large number of great scenes throughout.
A great movie.
Luke: I can eat fifty eggs.
Dragline: Nobody can eat fifty eggs.
Society Red: You just said he could eat anything.
Dragline: Did you ever eat fifty eggs?
Luke: Nobody ever eat fifty eggs.
Prisoner: Hey, Babalugats. We got a bet here.
Dragline: My boy says he can eat fifty eggs, he can eat fifty eggs.