Sunday, July 18, 2010

#123 Cool Hand Luke (1967), 126 mins.

Beth: So I voted to watch Cool Hand Luke the other day. I heard something about it on NPR and it triggered some desire to watch it. I knew nothing about it. I didn't even know that the quote "What we have here, is a failure to communicate..." was from the movie. The basic idea of the movie is that a decorated war hero, Paul Newman, gets a 2-year prison sentence for destroying public property. Seems a little drastic. Like movies today, we side with the protagonist, who's done bad things. In today's movies, the "bad things" are way worse. In Ocean's Eleven, we side with a whole band of thieves. In Repo Men, we're ok with the main character killing dozens of "loan collectors" after defaulting on a loan. In The Professional, you are endeared to a professional hitman.

Unlike movies today, Paul Newman isn't the prison badass. He gets into a fight and gets his ass handed to him and somehow that endears him to his fellow combatant and everyone else in the prison (it's a small prison). The second half of the movie reminded me more of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Very much about taking the person who is a figure that everyone looks up to for strength and hope and destroying all hope and breaking the guy. When all hope is lost, what remains? A freaky side note: there's this one retarded guy in prison and he looked really familiar. I knew it wasn't him but I said he looked a lot like Owen Wilson. Alf said he looked like Dennis Hopper. I thought he meant how I meant it - just resembles Dennis Hopper. Nope, turns out it was Dennis Hopper!

Alf: I had been putting off seeing this movie my whole life. I had heard of the scene where Paul Newman eats 50 eggs, and I figured it'd be disgusting to watch. Anyway, I finally caved, saw it and the scene...I survived. Actually, the movie was pretty good, not sure if there was a theme per se, but it was still good to see. We know that the main character was a war vet, so it's assumed that he was drinking to "forget," when he gets arrested and thrown in jail. It was definitely one of those cases, for me, where the punishment didn't fit the crime. A 2 year sentence for defacing some public property is a little extreme...but, then we wouldn't have a movie.

At the beginning of the movie Paul Newman starts off wanting to be the loner, then gets into a fight with the leader type guy of the prison, loses, then becomes friends with everyone. I'm guessing because he could really take a beating, so people admired him for that.

Anyway, I did like it...maybe I'd find more of a theme if I watch it again someday.

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