Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Movie: Cool Hand Luke

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Luke is a shit disturber who gets 2 years in a prison road gang for public vandalism.  He bucks authority any chance he gets and rubs against people just to raise a little hell.  After reading Luke’s info, the warden, Captain, says “I hope you’re not going to be a hard case”.  He sees something in the report that troubles him about this new inmate.

Right off the bat Luke is on a collision course with Dragline the head convict.  They eventually have it out with Luke earning the respect of the inmates.  They are soon entertained by Luke’s antics letting him do his thing while they just observe and enjoy the show.  The guards and the Captain aren’t as impressed.

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Luke’s Mother comes to visit and shortly after  he’s full on don’t give a shit and ups his rebellion on the prison’s system that’s trying to “get his mind right”.  The odds are not in Luke’s favor.  Just the way he likes it.

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Cincinnati Babyhead loved this film.  So much to like about the movie.  Conrad Hall’s cinematography captures the look of the film.  You can feel the oppressive heat and the constant glare of the sun.  The shots of the road work and the hot dirty, dusty labor put you in the environment.  Stuart Rosenburg directs the film with a sure hand and nails it on so many levels.  The constant presence of the guards, dogs, barbed wire, the routine of prison life.  The brutal environment of incarceration.  Nothing romantic about it.

So many good scenes.  The eggs, Luke and his mother, Luke moving dirt from one ditch to another.  And more.  Lalo Schifrin’s soundtrack is perfect.

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The performances are great.  The film is character actor city.  The inmates are well cast.  The guards are perfect.  Cold, menacing and intimidating.  Strother Martin, a Babyhead fave, as the Captain has a classic movie line.  His portrayals are always worth seeing .  Hall of fame actor in CB’s book.  George Kennedy as Dragline is one big dumb shit.  Solid performance.  CB always loves a good shit disturber and  Paul Newman fits the bill.  As Luke he was hitting his stride as an actor.  He is just really good.  Natural but with lots going on, never overdoing it.  Contained realistic performance.  He nails it.  The scene with Jo Van Fleet as his mother is a good one.  All the stuff between the lines speaks volumes.  They kept it real.  You feel like a voyeur watching it.

Solid motion picture.  Entertaining and real good.

So just for the hell of it do some “world shaken” with cool Hand Luke.

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