Warner Bros Home Video / Region 1
Featuring Paul Newman, George Kennedy, J.D. Cannon, Lou Antonio, Jo Van Fleet
“What we have here is a failure to communicate”
One of the best movies of the 1960’s and one of the all time greats Cool Hand Luke stars Paul Newman in a performance of almost iconic proportions as he plays the drifter whose bucking against the system finds him sent to prison.
Newman plays Lucas “Cool Hand” Jackson, who, in an act of drunken rebellion, decides to cut off all the parking meters in a small Southern town’s main street, an act that sends him straight to jail. Once inside his disruptive ways land him ever harsher punishments until by the end of the movie, a final inevitable toll has been taken.
Co-written by Donn Pearce from his own novel and directed by Stuart Rosenberg, CHL, in all its crisp widescreen wondrousness, is a superb film full of classic and memorable scenes (the egg eating contest, the fight with George Kennedy’s oscar winning Dragline, the girl in the clingy dress) and brilliant dialogue. On top of all that, it is completely owned by Newman, his piercing eyes and astonishing good looks drawing you to him with every frame he is in. Newman was already a major star by this time but this movie turned him into an icon and Luke, like any self respecting anti establishment hero of the 60’s doesn’t really explain (and doesn’t need to) his motives for what he does but the rights of the individual to be an individual is a sentiment that still stands up today, more so in fact with the way that corporate branding is on the verge of turning us all into interchangable clones.
Stunningly good then (small wonder it was nominated for foour oscars – best music, best screenplay, best actor and best supporting actor, in the end only taking out best support for George Kennedy), this new release comes to us in an excellent deluxe edition that includes a completely new wonderful looking digital transfer, audio commentary from Newman aficianado Eric Lax and an excellent new doco looking at the making of the movie.