Ok I finally caught Cool Hand Luke, which has some really memorable scenes, part of the reason why it has such a big following even now. It was released in ’67 and stars Paul Newman in the lead role as the titular character, an anti-establishment anti-hero character. You like him cos he’s cool, smug, smart and cocky and also because he’s fucking Paul Newman R.I.P. Stunna soundtrack from Lalo Schiffrin too by the by. Love that guitar riff and the harmonica follow and the traditional old timey songs. Imagine Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? but way cooler.

The show starts with the Newman cutting the heads off parking meters, which lands him in prison. He gets sent to the countryside where he has to work on the roads everyday and just by being himself, he manages to go from being noob status to inmate hero through his exploits. This being a prison movie, obviously there’s gonna be some escapin’ and that’s the fun part I suppose.

I enjoyed the film even if I had to watch it over like 3 days due to time contraints. I think even today, the film’s original theme still rings true and probably always will. I like how Luke is really cool as the nonchalant anti-hero but still totally human. He just loves to go against the grain, even if he knows he can’t win and that somehow speaks volumes to me about how we all struggle in our own ways.

The villains in the film are basically the Captain who runs the joint. He doesn’t do much but he has one line where he says “What we got here is failure to communicate”. Which is often attributed to Lyndon B. Johnson, which plays up the anti-war/establishment theme of the film. Another key villain is Boss Godfrey (all the po-po are called Boss X or Boss Y) who likes to wear stunna shades. Luke’s good friend/sidekick/former nemesis Dragline calls him the “man with no eyes”. He doesn’t say much or emote much at all. He just either wields a walking stick that can double as a weapon and a rifle, which he uses to hunt turtles and Paul Newman with. I like how that kinda gives “the man” a sorta faceless identity, rendering this idea of not being able to tell who he really is or what his true intentions are. Windows to the soul but if they closed you can’t get there concept.

The most famous scene in the film has to be the egg yolk one, where Luke wins a bet eating 50 egg yolks and becomes like the most popular guy in jail. They show his belly like totally full and bulging and shit, it’s kinda funny and you totally root for him to win. My fave scene though, is the carwash one, where Joy Harmon washes a car in front of the inmates working on the road. She just adores the attention she’s getting, sploshing suds like everywhere and pretty much every car wash chick cliche is right there. It’s kinda hot.

So yea, like watch this film for the existentialist anti-establishment concept. Or just watch the clip above.

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