Cool Hand Luke is a 1967 American prison drama film directed by Stuart Rosenberg, starring Paul Newman and featuring George Kennedy in an Oscar-winning performance. Newman stars in the title role as Luke, a prisoner in a Florida prison camp who refuses to submit to the system.
Upon its release, Cool Hand Luke received favorable reviews and became a box-office success. The film cemented Newman’s status as one of the era’s top box-office actors, while the film was described as the “touchstone of an era.” Newman was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, George Kennedy won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Pearce and Pierson were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and the score by Lalo Schifrin was also nominated for the Best Original Score. In 2005, the United States Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry, considering it to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” It has a rare 100% rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. The quotation used by the prison warden in the film, which begins with “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate,” was listed at No. 11 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 most memorable movie lines.
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