Tuesday, June 7, 2011
COOL HAND LUKE (1967)
It's been my experience that, as a general rule, women-in-prison movies are always way more entertaining than men-in-prison movies. The male films though are usually done with a somewhat more serious approach. This Hollywood classic really only uses the setting to convey a tale of rebellion in the face of a hopeless situation. It's very noticeably a product of the 60's mentality and has a stark anti-establishment message. Most modern audiences would probably find the movie a bit slow, and it does drag at times, but it's a compelling story and a beautifully shot film to look at. You get Paul Newman eating 50 eggs in an hour as our loner hero. This was way before he started selling salad dressing and whatnot so he was still at the top of his game as far as acting goes. There are a couple of scenes which are supposed to remind us of Jesus for some reason or another. You also get Strother Martin with the famous "What we've got here is a failure to communicate" line as the warden, George Kennedy as the jailhouse bully, Harry Dean Stanton as the lazy guy, Dennis Hopper as the crazy guy(not much of a stretch there) and the dad from The Waltons amongst other familiar faces. There's also an unexpected gratuitous car washing scene with a very busty hot sixties chick that comes out of nowhere. Worth checking out if you dig the 60's classics and don't suffer from ADD.