The movie has flaws? Yes. But Paul Newman elevates every bit of "Cool Hand Luke" to greatness. A great piece in that "buddy prison" movies only Hollywood could make so well. In modern movies, there are no more actores like Newman, there are no more excellent stories like this one.
Despite a masterfully written screenplay that thrives on themes primal to human nature, it is Paul Newman's minimalistic performance and never-ending talent that makes Cool Hand Luke into a tale for the ages. Powered by Conrad Hall's breathtaking photography, Rosenberg's film showcases the power of simplicity in what very well may be considered a kind of southern-gothic new wave.
The thing that I admired about Paul Newman was that he wasn't afraid to play an asshole as a leading man. Sometimes when you'd stare into those eyes, you just got lost. "Jesus he was a handsome man and what i want to know is how do you like your blueeyed boy Mister Death" And of course he did play Buffalo Bill, so that's appropriate.
Conrad Hall! (I'm making the "A-OK" sign with my fingers to his imaginary camera.) Domination: As long as they can't penetrate your mind, it won't stick. The Egg-Eating Contest made me want to yak about halfway through. I was once part of an over-night renovation crew at a Walmart when I was a youngster. It felt like a chain-gang. I felt like Luke.
What we got here is... Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Harry Dean Stanton, Dennis Hopper, the other brother from East of Eden, the dad from The Waltons... that smile, those eggs, the girl, the heat, the sweat and the chains. What's not to like? Best movie ever. In my opinion of course.