Monday, January 18, 2010

Capsule Review: Cool Hand Luke (1967)

“What we have here is.. failure to communicate.”. Paul Newman’s Luke gets put on a chain gang after being busted for drunkenly cutting the tops off of parking meters, and soon his seemingly endless streak of rebellion is inspiring his fellow inmates to foster some measure of hope for themselves and their place in the world. Luke – obviously presented as a Christ-like figure – is reluctant hero, and someone who seems unable to accept being presented with any level of authority, even when his resistance costs him dearly. Newman gives the material significant resonance, backed by a supporting cast including George Kennedy (who snagged an Academy Award), an impossibly young Dennis Hopper, Harry Dean Stanton, and Strother Martin, who gets to deliver the film’s most famous line. During a time when youth were struggling with the concept of conformity, Cool Hand Luke became an icon of the era.

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