COOL HAND LUKE (Rated: GP, Color, 126 min., Warner Bros., November 1, 1967)
In Roger Ebert’s 1967 review of COOL HAND LUKE, Ebert referred to Luke Jackson (played by Paul Newman) as an anti-hero. In this 2008 essay about the film for his Great Movie series, Ebert reversed his anti-hero position saying, “I think he’s more of a willing martyr, a man so obsessed with the wrongness of the world that he invites death to prove himself correct.”
COOL HAND LUKE makes an appearance on at least 3 of the American Film Institute’s “100” Lists. It charts at #11 on the 100 Top Movie Quotes (“What we have here is a failure to communicate.”). It logs in at #30 on the 100 Heroes/Villains List (Luke Jackson). And it lands at #71 on AFI’s 100 Years 100 Cheers – the most inspiring movies. The movie solidified Paul Newman as one of the top Box Office draws in the world.
The film’s rating is an interesting one. The MPAA had replaced the “M” (for mature) rating with GP (General Audience, Parental Guidance) in an effort to eliminate confusion. It mostly created more confusion – leading parents to believe that it was closer to “G” (General Audiences) than mature ones. The “GP” was replaced with “PG” in 1972.
Director: Stuart Rosenberg Writers: Donn Pearce (Screenplay & Novel), Frank Pierson (Screenplay) Producer: Gordon Carroll Cinematographer: Conrad L. Hall Composer: Lalo Schifrin Editor: Sam O’Steen
CAST: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, J.D. Cannon, Lou Antonio, Robert Drivas, Strother Martin, Jo Van Fleet
Watched on DVD from Warner Brothers Deluxe Edition
*Every Monday I watch a classic or historically significant movie that falls into one of these categories: 1) Have never seen it, or 2) Have never seen it uncut, or 3) Have only seen it once, or 4) Haven’t seen it in a very long time.
Some information from: IMDb Pro, BoxOfficeMojo