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Cool Hand Luke [Blu-ray]
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Product Description

Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 09/09/2008 Run time: 127 minutes Rating: Pg

Paul Newman gives one of the defining performances of his career, and cemented his place as a beautiful-rebel screen icon playing the stubbornly tough and independent title character in Cool Hand Luke. And before he became familiar as a sidekick in 1970s disaster movies (Earthquake and the Airport movies), George Kennedy won an Oscar for playing Dragline, the brutal chain-gang boss who tries to beat loner Luke's cool out of him. It's a classic rebel-against-the-repressive-institution story in the line of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest or The Shawshank Redemption. Certain moments have become classics--particularly the hardboiled egg-eating contest, and the immortal line (drooled by Strother Martin, as a sadistic redneck prison officer), "What we have here is a failure to communicate." And don't forget, Luke is also the source of the oft-quoted driving ditty, "I don't care if it rains or freezes, long as I have my plastic Jesus, right here on the dashboard of my car..." He is cool, all right. --Jim Emerson

Customer Reviews:

  • Very well-made with sense of graphic imagery and cinema view...
    The rebel character in Hollywood after the death of James Dean went through a period of transition and did not gain definite new characteristics until the late sixties...

    The three established rebel/anti-heroes in movies were Paul Newman, Warren Beatty, and Steve McQueen...

    In 1967, screen audiences were exposed to two new rebel hero characters, Clyde Barrow, a rebel without a cause with enough guts to strike out against any bank, and Luke Jackson, an anti-hero 'born to lose,' but a man full of pride and dignity...

    "Cool Hand Luke" resumes Newman's career as another rebel, a non-conformist, a perfect hero who beats the system wherever...

    Superbly directed by Stuart Rosenberg, Newman exhibits a complete arrangement of emotions invading every nuance and implication... Resources of his true command of his technical acting are breathtaking in their impact... The motion picture (nominated for 4 Academy Awards) won him his 4th Academy Award nomination...

    Newman is again a cynical loner, but he's also charming, and everything is calculated to involve us with him; like "Hombre," the film begins and ends with closeups of his face, but here, appropriately, he has an engaging smile...

    The opening, where he drinks beer, unscrews tops from parking meters and mumbles to the arriving cop, recalls Dean's drunken incoherence at the start of "Rebel Without a Cause"--an apt title for Luke... He breaks rules for no apparent reason, wherever he is, including the chain gang to which he's sentenced...

    Unlike Paul Muni in "I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang," who steals only to eat and is turned by society into a hardened criminal, Luke is a criminal from the start, and his crime isn't motivated by hunger... It's a meaningless anti-authority gesture--the existentialist "gratuitous act," committed purely for the sake of committing it... Luke engages our sympathy not because he is economically deprived or the product of an unhappy home, but because for him the act of rebellion is its own justification: he's the perfect sixties hero...

    Initially, Luke alienates the prisoners by his indifference and sarcasm, and the top dog, Dragline (George Kennedy) picks a fight with him... Luke is severely beaten but keeps fighting, and this--plus his continual defiance of the guards--wins him the men's respect... Their admiration grows when he proves he can eat 50 hard-boiled eggs, one after the other, in only one hour, another gratuitous act ("somethin' to do").

    But Luke gradually becomes a victim of the excessive admiration, rebelling because they expect him to, which leads to a pattern of escapes and captures... As the warden says, "What we got here is a failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach." Even though Luke becomes subservient after torture, he again escapes... Dragline admires the way he fooled the guards while planning all along to escape... But Luke says he really did break down, and asserts: "l never planned anything in my life." Even his last act is motivated not by heroism but by impulse...

    The physical punishment Newman's characters often undergo reaches an extreme here, as Luke constantly invites pain (in his fight with Dragline, he says, "You're gonna have to kill me."). Underlying his sometimes vigorous rebelliousness is despair at a cruelly indifferent world... But the men need a hero, and Dragline perpetuates the myth, telling them that he had "that Luke smile" to the very end... We last see a montage of shots of Luke smiling--the men's vision of him as unbeaten and almost immortal...

    Newman's performance is among his best, and Luke is one of his definitive studies of non conformism... As in "Hombre," he underplays, but in a loose, relaxed, "cool" manner... He's affecting in a wide range of moods: quiet detachment, wry contempt, raw courage, exhaustion, exuberance, gentleness, anger, resignation...

    There's a superb1y understated scene in which Luke's dying mother (Jo Van Fleet) visits him... Like Rocky Graziano, he says he tried to live cleanly, but could never find a way... But the mood is quite different here: instead of intense emotion, there are on1y ingenious expressions of uneasiness, regret, sadness, acceptance... Newman conveys his unspoken affection entirely through his glances and reactions, as she wistfully remarks that she once had high hopes for him...

    The actor even survives the film's pretentious attempts to make him a mock-Christ figure... Besides the obvious sacrifice-resurrection parallel, he's even shown in the exact crucifixion position following his fifty-egg (Last Supper?) ordeal... There are two badly conceived dialogs with a God he doesn't believe in--after which he realizes, "l gotta find my own way," a rather unconcealed statement of existential despair--but Newman performs them with quiet conviction....

    His mock religion is better suggested by the bottle opener he wears in lieu of a religious medal... And the despair is effectively dramatized in his reaction to his mother's death... The men leave him by himself, and he sits on his bed, playing the banjo... With a sad, breaking voice, he sings a religious parody: "l don't care if it rains or freezes, long as 1 got my plastic Jesus..." He looks down and begins crying, but sings faster, obsessively, withdrawing into himself and expressing his utter loneliness in a world that has no God... It's one of the most moving scenes in all of Newman's work...

    Paralleled to "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "Cool Hand Luke" is a character study, which works beautifully, very well-made with sense of graphic imagery and cinema view, a good-looking film with superb photography in Color, extremely good as an entertainment...

    ...more info
  • Classic Tale of NerDoWell Becoming Hero
    This movie was so before its time. We ordered it days before Newman's death was reported, and when we got the movie in the mail, he had just passed away. So, we watched it with reverance for Newman's full body of work over the years. As far as prison movies go, this would have to be at the top of the list. As far as Newman goes, this is HIS movie. He dominates the film from start to finish -- with strong supporting roles from all the actors, who have gone on to great work themselves. The movie is funny, sad, poignant, rebellious, and somewhat inspiring in terms of what the human spirit is capable of. With that said, Newman's character is made heroic for all the wrong reasons. He has no respect for authority and has clearly squandered his opportunities in life and what was apparently a successful military career. Lines like "night in the box" and "failure to communicate" still resonate in common venacular 40 years later. Viewers will also never see boiled eggs quite the same. ...more info
  • Cool Hand Luke
    I order this classic movie in Blu-ray format and it was like watching it for the 1st time! ...more info
  • Paul Newman at his best!
    This is one of the best Paul Newman films. He demonstrates his abilites and range of character traites in this film. I can think of no other film that he has made in this particular genre. A great film, with a great story. I enjoyed it greatly.




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  • What we got here... A failure to communicate!!!
    Okay,the only real extras on the DVD is a theatrical trailer for the film and some biographical information on the movie and it's stars,but Warner Bros. gets a five star rating for great picture and sound and the option of BOTH Standard Full Frame and Widescreen versions on one disc!!! This movie is an absolute classic!!! And it's great to have it on DVD!!! One of the great "men in chains" films!!! The great cast includes Paul Newman,George Kennedy(in his oscar winning role!),Wayne Rogers,Strother Martin,Joe Don Baker,Ralph Waite,and many other classic character actors!!! Two thumbs up!!! Five stars!!! A+...more info
  • excellent
    bought this movie for my boyfriend for christmas and you should've seen his face when he opened it!!...more info
  • Fast Finish
    This is a study in sadism. Unmitigated psychological abuse meets up with wild heroism in the character of a complex, but silly convict, Luke Jackson (Paul Newman). Wrong is called right, justice perverted, but he turns the tables and starts to goad the "bosses" into ever more serious conflicts until they kill him....more info
  • What we've got here is ... an excellent movie
    Cool Hand Luke is the story of a good man's triumph against an oppressive environment and a social hierarchy. The acting by Newman and Kennedy is world-class. The themes are profound. One that stood out to me is that many people lack moral courage under authority, and as Luke points out, "calling it your job doesn't make it right." While Newman's character may not be an ideal role model, Luke's courage, determination and leadership are exemplary. The story is inspiring. It's definitely one of my top 10....more info
  • Forget the Blu-Ray!!! Save Your Money!!!
    The Blu-Ray Cool Hand Luke is MONO!!!!! Not even a feeble attempt at stereo or 5.1. One great movie, but don't waste your money on the Blu-Ray! Buy it on standard DVD if all you get is MONO. I was foolish enough to assume that there was no such thing as MONO on a Blu-Ray. I'm so angry over this purchase, I CAN'T EVEN SEE STRAIGHT. Truth be told, I didn't even check before buying because I wouldn't have believed that such a thing could even exist!...more info
  • The "Cool Hand Luke" review
    I was satisfied with this product, with possibly one exception. It was produced in the format that fits a normal T.V. screen, not the so-called letterbox format. I was not given any mis-information about this product, and purchased it without giving attention to this aspect. All things considered, I would have to say I made a good "buy". It was easy to make a purchase on Amazon, and the delivery was prompt.You have guidelines provided to help the consumer make an informed decision on a product. "I'll be back". Sincerely, Patrick Dwyer...more info
  • paul newman on a chain gang makes me sweaty
    i hadnt seen this in a long time and i was surprised how much more i liked it than i remembered. paul newman was already in his early 40s when this was made but man, was he hot! and speaking of hot, how can you not sweat watching this movie? one of newmans better anti-hero performances, with terrific support from george kennedy, strother martin, jo van fleet, and a host of others.
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  • One of the best movies ever
    This is a must see and must own movie. Any movie lover has to have this movie in their collection. The shipping was fast and I am totally satisfied with my purchase. BUY THIS MOVIE!!!...more info
  • outstanding!!!!
    I grew up watching this movie... its a movie I seem to never get bored with. Paul newman is an awesome actor, and if you are a fan of his, this is a must have in your movie collection!!!! ...more info
  • Paul Newman's Best Film
    This film was sampled as the intro to the Guns n Roses song "Civil War" off their album Use Your Illusion Vol. 2
    It is a classic film in every way and is a must own in any dvd collection. If your sketchy about the purchase check it out 1st on netflix and then buy it. ...more info
  • One of the best, by one of the best...
    One of Paul Newman's best performances, and truly one of his best films (I still don't know why I didn't nominate this in Best Picture for my personal awards); `Cool Hand Luke' is not only very, very cool; it is very, very impressive. With powerful acting and one of the most poignant and powerfully moving endings of it's time, `Cool Hand Luke' is not just a staple for avid Newman fans, but this is a film for anyone who loves film; period.

    Paul Newman plays Luke, a rebellious young man doing some time for vandalism. He's strong willed and very independent, qualities that don't mesh well with prison life. He knocks heads with a few people, not the least of which is the Captain (a ruthless Strother Martin) and Dragline (Oscar winner George Kennedy). Dragline and Captain are determined to break Luke, but for different reasons and in different ways. Dragline, the prisons gang leader, wants to break Luke into submission, but soon he begins to admire Luke's unwavering pride. The Captain wants to humiliate and destroy Luke (that midnight digging scene sends chills down my spine EVERY time I watch this movie).

    The films ending is really where the heart of the film lies, and where the characters that have been being developed become full and real and most impressionable. I won't even get into the ending (I am not going to ruin this for anyone) but just know that Luke's final decision rings so true, even today.

    It's a pure and brutally honest depiction of our subconscious yearnings.

    The acting is a huge highlight here, and Paul Newman further cements himself as one of the finest actors to ever work in Hollywood (I've been known to confess him as my favorite actor of all time). What he does with Luke is marvelous; constructing a man who is self inflicted with feelings he refuses to share, reserving himself until the end when his true afflictions are made bare. Newman creates a perfect fa?ade for Luke, a faux sense of security, which only adds to his eventual breakdown. George Kennedy was amazing as Dragline, a truly inspired performance. He's witty when needed, gruff when needed and even charming (he is the true definition of `buddy' here). A lot of people have knocked his Oscar win in the years that followed it, but he was truly deserving (even if I would have given the award to Hackman). I also want to point out Strother Martin for his devilish performance, truly spine chilling.

    So, like I said, this is a marvelous film and is one that I highly recommend to any and everyone I talk to. I'm so glad my father ranted and raved about this long enough for me to finally commit to watching it (that Paul Newman TCM marathon didn't help either) and so, in like manner, I plan on ranting and raving this film until you see it too!...more info
  • the legend
    i have watched this movie over 400 times,will never be another newman,blu-ray is crystal clear...more info
  • Well done!
    This is a blu-ray remake of the original movie and it's well done. Great movie too!!...more info
  • Cool Hand Luke
    This is a new pachage not a used product. This is one of the greatest movies of all times....more info
  • Cool Hand Luke is a classic
    What can one say about Cool Hand Luke that has not already been written. It is one of the best films ever made. Starring Paul Newman, George Kennedy, J.D. Cannon, and Strother Martin with a host of billiant supporting actors, CHL is pure enjoyment from befinning to end. If you have never seen this film, buy it. It is a part of American Cinema history....more info
  • newman's legacy
    I remember this film vividly because when I first saw it, it was at a cinema in Paris--and this was my first time in the City of Light!! Also I was on my 3 day leave from the Air Force and when I saw that famous scene when warden Strother Martin beat Luke (Newman) after he says, "Boss, why are you so nice to me?" to which Martin utters the famous lines, "What we have here is a failure--to communicate", it rang in my ears as an ironic twist to my days in Basic training. The late Paul Newman, who died just this last Friday, the 26 of September, lived and died like his character, Luke, in defiance but always smiling. His defiance was in what people had pegged him for--the handsome movie star with beautiful blue eyes with a classical face. Instead he channeled this defiance into helping other less fortunate people than he was---the terminally ill children (the Hole in the Wall), relief funds for the people in the Gulf, various charities, etc. Also he lived away from Hollywood, in Connecticut where he and his family were just folks. But another reason I've seen this movie countless times is because it was shot near my hometown of Stockton, California---those crossroads in the film sure remind of the Valley. This film could stand as perhaps the best or if not one of the best, a great film in the Newman catalog--it pre-dated other rebel films like "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Dog Day Afternoon" by almost a decade. If one could chose one film that is indicative of Paul Newman--this is it!! ...more info
  • Great Movie!!
    Great Movie, A Must See. Cool hand Luke Is awesome. This was my First Time seeing this movie, and Loved every minute of it.

    Five Stars...more info
  • Cool Hand Luke one of my Favorite Movies
    This is a great movie. Man they don't make like this anymore....more info