2016 Reviews · 5 Star Worthy · Classic · movie · TCM

TCM 31 Days of Oscar – Cool Hand Luke

TCM 31 Days of Oscar

TCM 31 Days of Oscar

I’ve challenged myself to watch a movie every day from Turner Classic Movie channel’s 31 Days of Oscar. And I’m going to be focusing on the movies I haven’t seen yet, with maybe just a few rewatch movies.

Here is my 4th day and movie of my challenge to TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar.

Cool Hand Luke

Cool Hand Luke

1967 Drama film based on Donn Pearce’s 1965 novel of the same name.

9 out of 10 Stars

Starring: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, Jo Van Fleet, Morgan Woodward, Luke Askew, Robert Donner, Clifton James, J.D. Cannon. Lou Antonio, Robert Drivas, Dennis Hopper, Wayne Rogers and Harry Dean Stanton.

The 360° Game: First link movie – East of Eden stars Jo Van Fleet (who won Best Supporting Actress). Next is Cool Hand Luke starring Jo Van Fleet and George Kennedy. The following movie after that is The Dirty Dozen starring George Kennedy.

And the Oscar goes toGeorge Kennedy won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

The Oscar did not go toNewman was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Pearce and Pierson were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and the score by Lalo Schifrin was also nominated for the Best Original Score.

Short Synopsis: A likable Southern loner (Paul Newman) on a chain gang resists the captain and keeps trying to escape.

My Thoughts: I’ve only seen some bits of this movie thanks to my parents, but never seen the whole movie. Wikipedia says that the setting is the Florida Chain Gang. It was definitely Southern, but seemed more like Texas or something. Paul Newman played the rebel pretty good. The story and characters were also good. As for the religious themes, I wasn’t too impressed by them. It was a little overkill I thought; we get it, Luke is God-like! Good grief. Besides that I would rewatch this film in the next time it’s on tv again.

The Play by Play Thoughts

0:04 Paul Newman, what a smile.

Cool Hand Luke

0:12 Boss: “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].
Of course Luke will cause some trouble. Just look at that “Luke smile.”

0:21 Boss Godfrey… “Don’t he ever talk?” Boss shoots a bird. Luke: “I think he just said something.”

0:23 The Box Punishment. [Discussing a new prisoner who has to spend the night in the box]
Dragline: “He ain’t in the box because of the joke played on him. He back-sassed a free man. They got their rules. We ain’t got nothin’ to do with that. Would probably have happened to him sooner or later anyway, a complainer like him. He gotta learn the rules the same as anybody else.”
Luke: “Yeah, them poor old bosses need all the help they can get.”

I just know that Luke is going to end up in the box.

And here’s the dame….

Cool Hand Luke

0:26 “She ain’t got but one safety pin holding that thing up.”
The Girl: [Washing herself down while cleaning her car with her radio on loud to get the Prisoners attention]
Koko: “God she don’t know what she’s doing.”
Luke: “Oh boy, she knows exactly what she’s doing. She’s driving us crazy, and loving every minute of it!”

Cool Hand Luke

0:32 The Boxing Match. “Stay down, you’re beat.” “You’re going to have to kill me.” The boys finally realize these boxing matches are terrible. Also shows that Luke never really gets beat down.

0:39 “Yeah well sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand.” And that’s how Luke got his nickname, Cool Hand Luke.

Cool Hand Luke

0:42 Jo Van Fleet. She’s such a good actress. Did a really good job in East of Eden. In her role as Luke’s mother, she was just as good I thought.

0:47 Wearing Chains… Luke’s Nephew: “Uncle Luke? Why can’t you have chains?”
Luke: “John-boy, lemme tell you something. You know, them chains ain’t medals. You get ’em for making mistakes. And you make a bad enough mistake, and then you gotta deal with the Man. And he is one rough old boy.”

0:48 Tramp’s song. Harry Dean Stanton has pretty good singing voice.

Cool Hand Luke

1:00 The 50 Eggs Bet. Oh just gross.

Cool Hand Luke

1:06 Religious symbolism. And yet the bet had to be Luke’s sacrifice. If you haven’t noticed the religious symbolism, here’s the big give-away.

1:10 “His mother’s dead” Paul’s song and his emotions in it was pretty good. Had to share.

1:15 Luke’s in the Box. Just cause his mom died and they think he’ll want to make a run for it. They’re right.
Boss: “Sorry, Luke. I’m just doing my job. You gotta appreciate that.”
Luke: “Nah – calling it your job don’t make it right, Boss.”

1:19 “48. One in the Box, one in the bush.” Luke’s first escape. It happened pretty quick too.

Cool Hand Luke

1:24 Poor Blue. And yet they still somehow caught Luke. And then it’s the famous “Failure to Communicate” quote.

1:38 Second Chains. Oh they caught him again. Says a lot with Paul’s acting when you’re cheering for a criminal to escape from a chain gang prison.

Cool Hand Luke

1:42 Taking food from Luke’s plate. Another religious symbol. And…

1:44 Luke digging his ditch. Looks like he’s digging his own burial hole.

1:50 “You try to run and will kill ya.” And Boss Godfrey will be the one to kill no doubt.

Cool Hand Luke

1:56 Boss Godfrey really isn’t happy that Luke ran free a 3rd time.

Cool Hand Luke

2:04  “Just play it cool.” “Like I always do huh?” “Yeah” My mom spoiled the ending for me when I told her I was going to watch this. I won’t spoil it for you readers. Just know that I’m glad George at least got the Oscar Award for his role. It was a pretty good ending.


Up next for Friday’s TCM 31 Days is A Majority of One starring Rosalind Russell (Auntie Mame).

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