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Cool Hand Luke (1-Nov-1967)

Director: Stuart Rosenberg

Writers: Donn Pearce; Frank R. Pierson

From novel: Cool Hand Luke by Donn Pearce

Music by: Lalo Schifrin

Producer: Gordon Carroll

Keywords: Drama, Prison

An aimless drifter who won a Bronze Star in WWII receives a two-year prison sentence for cutting the tops off of parking meters. Serving on a chain gang, he has repeated issues with conformity, earning him stays in solitary and the eventual admiration of fellow prisoners, admiration that he explicitly rejects. One of Paul Newman's most memorable performances. George Kennedy won Best Supporting Actor Oscar; the film received nominations for 3 others including Best Actor and Best Screenplay.

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Luke Askew
26-Mar-1932 29-Mar-2012 Easy Rider
Robert Donner
27-Apr-1931 8-Jun-2006 Exidor on Mork and Mindy
Robert Drivas
21-Nov-1938 29-Jun-1986 Bad Habits
Dennis Hopper
17-May-1936 29-May-2010 Apocalypse Now
Clifton James
29-May-1921 15-Apr-2017 Sheriff J. W. Pepper
George Kennedy
18-Feb-1925 28-Feb-2016 Airport, Naked Gun
Strother Martin
26-Mar-1919 1-Aug-1980 Cool Hand Luke
Paul Newman
26-Jan-1925 26-Sep-2008 Salad dressing magnate
Wayne Rogers
7-Apr-1933 31-Dec-2015 Trapper John on M*A*S*H
Harry Dean Stanton
14-Jul-1926 15-Sep-2017 Bathrobe-clad actor from Repo Man
Jo Van Fleet
30-Dec-1914 10-Jun-1996 East of Eden
Ralph Waite
22-Jun-1928 13-Feb-2014 John Walton, Sr. on The Waltons
Morgan Woodward
16-Sep-1925   Punk Anderson on Dallas
Anthony Zerbe
20-May-1936   Dog boy in Cool Hand Luke


Paul Newman   ...   Luke
George Kennedy   ...   Dragline
J. D. Cannon   ...   Society Red
Lou Antonio   ...   Koko
Robert Drivas   ...   Loudmouth Steve
Strother Martin   ...   Captain
Jo Van Fleet   ...   Arletta
Clifton James   ...   Carr
Luke Askew   ...   Boss Paul
Morgan Woodward   ...   Boss Godfrey
Marc Cavell   ...   Rabbitt
Richard Davalos   ...   Blind Dick
Robert Donner   ...   Boss Shorty
Warren Finnerty   ...   Tattoo
Dennis Hopper   ...   Babalugats
John McLiam   ...   Boss Kean
Wayne Rogers   ...   Gambler
Harry Dean Stanton   ...   Tramp
Charles Tyner   ...   Boss Higgins
Ralph Waite   ...   Alibi
Anthony Zerbe   ...   Dog Boy
Joy Harmon   ...   The Girl
Buck Kartalian   ...   Dynamite


Review by Gary Page (posted on 16-Nov-2007)

To paraphrase Strother Martin's prison captain character in the movie, "What we ain't got here is failure to communicate!" This film stands at the top of stairs and looks out over the also-rans for 1967. Paul Newman is at his best as a likable, street-wise, normal guy that was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sentenced to a southern chain gang for destroying municipal property while intoxicated, Luke finds himself the center of the work farm focus as he tries to remain normal in a very abnormal setting. From his focused and convincing bluff in poker (which earned him the nickname, "Cool Hand"), to his numerous attempts of escape from prison, Cool Hand Luke shows all of us the true meaning of perseverance. George Kennedy and Strother Martin add their strong supporting roles to a gem by Newman in this entertaining, poignant, and in-depth look at one man's view of freedom and individuality. A definate four star film that is equal to any of Newman's best efforts.

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