Friday, January 22, 2010

#29 Cool Hand Luke - The basis of #1?

1967 dir. Stuart Rosenberg, starring Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, J.D. Cannon.

Seen it before? Yes, senior year of high school for psych class.

I remember watching this movie in Coach Schuetz's class because he wanted to show us operant conditioning, punishments and rewards, and behavioral psychology. I remember seeing the part when Luke gets his nick name; when he eats the eggs and lays on the table in the Christ on the Cross pose. I remember thinking, "why was George Kennedy's character SO into having Luke in the chain gang when he was clearly the ring leader?"

I didn't mind that we were going to watch this movie as part of the top 250. I loved the part when Luke convinced the guys to work at a quicker pace so that they could finish sooner. My heart ached when I saw the relationship he had with his mother and then that he was put in solitary because they didn't want him to escape...which I think made it worse. He was already rebelling in the beginning which got him into his two year term to begin with. Of course putting him in solitary, and in essence keeping him away from the funeral, would make him want to run!

I forgot about the beginning with the parking meters and how he was a service man who entered and left the service with the same distinction. But I didn't forget the tanned topless men or Paul Newman's smile. I remembered that Luke was also compared to Christ...why we were discussing that in public high school is beyond me.

So now onto my Shawshank comparison...Luke is Andy Dufresne. Dragline was Red. The rest of the chain gang were the rest of the men Red and Andy would hang out with and eat lunch with. I wonder then if there is actually this type of camaraderie in real prisons. When Martha Stewart finished her 5-month sentence she talked about how she found a group of women to spend time with while she was in jail. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to go to jail to find out if inmates act like kids did in high school with cliques and who is in and who is not in, but watching these two movies has got me wondering.

I know this posting sounds really bizarre and I attribute that to the fact that I'm watching Magnolia and it's terribly confusing and now I sound like I haven't a coherent thought in my head.

Would I watch it again? Probably
Favorite part? The egg scene - hilarious
Part that made me tear up (aside from the obvious)? When the guys help him eat his giant plate of rice

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