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.
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as Lucas Jackson
as Society Red
as Loudmouth Steve
as Boss Godfrey
as Boss Paul Hunnicut
as Dog Boy
as Blind Dick
as Edgar "Tramp" Potter
as Boss Shorty
as Boss Kean
as Boss Higgins
as The Girl
as Stupid Blondie
as John Sr.
as John Jr.
as Black Boy
as Blind Dick
as Black Boy
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Critic Reviews for Cool Hand Luke
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.
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.
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.
Audience Reviews for Cool Hand Luke
An exceptional cast can't hide that here is a film rooted in it's time (released Jan.1, 1967): from the moment anyone intones any kind of rules and regulations to Newman's character his primary response is to roll his eyes = countercultural anti-hero from the jump. And thereafter the work's direction is set, a film about rebellion ("what're you rebelling against?" "whaddaya got?"), perhaps against the lockstep that the 1950's epitomized, filmed just short of a Cecil B. DeMille epic. While probably deserving a rewrite (like why do all of the hardtimers decide to revere some punk on shorttime - wouldn't happen in the real world), still the set-up as delivered is pleasing even if not believable. The individual vs. the collective.
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.
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.
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