As a chain-gang convict defying authority, Paul Newman got to take off his shirt for many sweaty road-labor scenes, and he had the acting muscle to match his abs. The culmination of his existentialist period with Hud (1963) and Hombre (1967), Cool Hand Luke depicts a loner earning the respect of fellow prisoners (including George Kennedy, who copped a Best Supporting Actor Oscar as the salty Dragline). Surrounded by such great character actors as Dennis Hopper and Strother Martin — who turned the line ”What we’ve got here is…failure to communicate” into a catchphrase — Newman has never looked more godlike (literally, in a few heavy-handed crucifixion poses). But his grin is so sunny that the filmmakers freeze-frame it so that we can bask in the star’s eternal magnificence. B+
Genre: Comedy, Drama; Starring: George Kennedy, Paul Newman; Director: Stuart Rosenberg; Runtime (in minutes): 126; MPAA Rating: Unrated; Distributor: Warner Bros.
Posted September 5 2008 — 12:00 AM EDT
- Casting Net: Viola Davis, Catalina Sandino Moreno star in 'Custody'
- President Obama talks 'The Wire' with creator David Simon
- Warner Bros wins bid for rights to viral 'Sundays' short
- Oscar producers won't return; Academy to search for new showrunners
- NBC reviving Coach with Craig T. Nelson
- '12 Monkeys' boss answers some burning questions
- 'The Founder' starring Michael Keaton gets November 2016 release
- 'American Crime Story' cast: Think each actor looks the part?
- Double trouble: Movie/TV characters who fight themselves
- Patricia Field on 5 costume gigs before she got 'Younger'
- 'Game of Thrones' London premiere: Red carpet style
- Best ‘DWTS’ champ? A (non-scientific) power ranking
- T.I. & Kevin, Jon Hamm, Olivia & Jason and More!