How well do you know Cool Hand Luke?

By: Scott Nordlund
Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

Test your knowledge of the 1967 classic, "Cool Hand Luke." Travel back into Luke's world: he's a prisoner in a Florida prison camp who refuses to submit to the system. Let's see how well you remember the story.

When was "Cool Hand Luke" released?

"Cool Hand Luke" was released on November 1, 1967. Upon its release, "Cool Hand Luke" received favorable reviews and became a box-office success. The proceeds of the premiere went to charities.

Who played Lucas "Luke" Jackson?

Paul Newman was cast as Luke Jackson. Newman asked to play the leading role after hearing about the project. In order to develop his character, he traveled to West Virginia, where he recorded local accents and surveyed people's behavior.

Where was "Cool Hand Luke" filmed?

The Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, or California Delta, is an expansive inland river delta and estuary in Northern California. The set, imitating a southern prison farm, was built in Stockton, California. The filmmakers sent a crew to Tavares Road Prison in Tavares, Florida, to take photographs and measurements, where Pearce had served his time.

What is a good description of Luke?

Decorated war veteran Lucas "Luke" Jackson (Paul Newman), is arrested for cutting the "heads" off of parking meters (cutting the meters off their poles) one drunken night. He is sentenced to two years in prison. He is sent to a Florida chain gang prison, run by a stern warden, the Captain (Strother Martin), and a stoic rifleman, Walking Boss Godfrey (Morgan Woodward), whose eyes are always covered by a pair of mirrored sunglasses.

"Cool Hand Luke" cemented what?

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. The film was described as the "touchstone of an era."

"Cool Hand Luke" was nominated for how many Oscars?

Cool Hand Luke was nominated for 4 Oscars, winning 1. Nominations include Best Actor in a Leading Role: Paul Newman, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium: Donn Pearce & Frank Pierson, Best Music, Original Music Score: Lalo Schifrin, and Best Actor in a Supporting Role: George Kennedy.

Who won an Oscar for his role in "Cool Hand Luke"?

George Kennedy was born in New York City in 1925. He appeared in all of the "Naked Gun" movies.

Which character says: "what we've got here is a failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week. Which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. And I don't like it any more than you men."

After beating Luke to the ground, the Captain delivers the statement. Some authors believe that the quotation was a metaphor for the ongoing Vietnam War conflict which was taking place during the filming, and others have applied it towards corporations and even teenagers. The quotation was listed at number 11 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 most memorable movie lines.

The film is based on what?

The film "Cool Hand Luke" is based on a novel of the same by Donn Pearce. He was a merchant seaman who later became a counterfeiter and safecracker. He wrote the novel about his experiences working on a chain gang while serving in a Florida prison. He sold the story to Warner Bros. for $80,000 and received another $15,000 to write the screenplay.

"Cool Hand Luke" has been cited by Roger Ebert as what sort of film?

The film has been cited by Roger Ebert as an anti-establishment film. The movie was shot during the time of the Vietnam War, and Newman's character endures "physical punishment, psychological cruelty, hopelessness and equal parts of sadism and masochism."

What kind of imagery points to a major theme throughout the film?

Luke's influence on his prison mates and the torture that he endures are compared to that of Jesus. Christian symbolism is used throughout the film, culminating in a photograph superimposed over crossroads at the end of the film, in comparison to the crucifixion.

When the inmates ask Luke why he cut the heads off parking meters, what is his reponse?

In the opening scene of the movie, we find out how Luke wound up on the chain gang. Luke is seen, drunk, using a large wrench to take the heads off of parking meters. The street is lined with decapitated parking meters.

What is the name that Dragline gives to the young lady who is washing her car in front of the chain gang?

Dragline calls the young lady washing the car Lucille. When the other inmates ask him how he knows that her name is Lucille, Dragline says, "anything so innocent and built like that just gotta be named Lucille."

Which actor played the Captain?

It was the Captain who first spoke the classic line, "what we got here is...failure to communicate." Strother Martin was a busy actor in the 1960s, also appearing in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," "The Wild Bunch," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "True Grit."

What is the last thing Luke does to throw the bloodhounds off his trail?

Luke is wearing chains in his second escape attempt. He takes off cross-country, jumps fences, runs onto a railroad bridge, and through a stream, attempting to lose the bloodhounds. When he comes to an old country store, he asks two young boys to get him an axe to cut his chains and spices to throw the dogs off of his trail. When the bloodhounds reach the spices, they begin to sneeze, and sneeze, and sneeze.

What do the inmates call the prison guard who wears the Polaroid sunglasses and carries a rifle?

The character's actual name is Blind Dick. He wears his sunglasses throughout the movie; we never see his eyes. Nor do we hear him speak; his rifle does his talking for him. Blind Dick was played by Richard Davalos.

What is Luke's reason for picking "50" as the number of eggs that he would eat in one hour?

Luke looks like he is stuffed and unable to eat another egg. Only when Luke hears that every dollar in camp has been bet, does he continue eating. At the end of the hour, the inmates are not convinced that he has eaten the 50th egg. Dragline has to put his fingers into Luke's mouth, opening it up wide, to show that Luke had swallowed every bit of the last egg

Which actor played the role of Dragline, Luke's right-hand man?

Kennedy won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Dragline. Kennedy has also appeared in "The Sons of Katie Elder," "The Flight of the Phoenix," "The Dirty Dozen," "Airport" and the "Naked Gun" series. Strother Martin was the Captain, Richard Davalos played Blind Dick, and Dennis Hopper was Babalugats.

Blind Dick shoots an animal in the bush and has Luke retrieve it. What kind of animal is it?

The Bosses tell Luke to go down and fetch the snapping turtle. Luke uses Blind Dick's cane to get the snapper. When the turtle latches on to the cane, Luke says, "Deader than hell, Boss, but won't let go."

Which inmate arrives at the prison camp on the same day as Luke?

Alibi was played by Ralph Waite, who later played Pa Walton on TV. Alibi thought he had bought a cushy job on his first day on the chain gang, but wound up spending a night in the box. Dragline was played by George Kennedy, Babalugats by Dennis Hopper (who would later co-star with Peter Fonda in "Easy Rider"), and Gambler was played by Wayne Rogers, who later played Trapper John on "M*A*S*H."

Morgan Woodward, who played Boss Godfrey, a.k.a. "The Man with No Eyes," did what during breaks between scenes?

Morgan Woodward, who played Boss Godfrey, a.k.a. "The Man with No Eyes," would stay in character during breaks between scenes. He would sit in his chair, still wearing his mirrored sunglasses, and not speak to anyone.

A third theme in the film was the use of what?

Different traffic signs are used throughout the film, complementing the actions of the characters during the scenes. At the beginning, while Luke cuts the heads off the parking meters, the word "Violation" appears. Stop signs are also seen. Traffic lights turn from green to red in the background at the time Luke is arrested, while at the end, when he is fatally wounded, a green light in the background turns to red.

Continuing with the Christian theme, Luke challenges God during the rainstorm on the road, telling him to do anything to him. Later, while he is digging and filling trenches and confronted by the guards, an inmate performs which spiritual?

An inmate performs the spiritual, "No Grave Gonna Keep My Body Down." Toward the end of the film, Luke speaks to God, evoking the conversation between God and Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane, depicted in the Gospel of Luke. Following Luke's talk, the film depicts Dragline as a Judas, who delivers Luke to the authorities, trying to convince him to surrender.

Who has said that she almost turned down her now much-celebrated role in the car wash scene?

Joy Harmon has said that she almost turned down her now much-celebrated role in the car wash scene, not because of any discomfort over the sexual nature of the scene, but because the filmmakers wanted her to smoke marijuana before the shoot began, apparently thinking it would put her in the proper mindset. When she voiced her objections, they dropped the request and she did the scene in an "un-stoned" state of mind.

Luke's prison number (37) is a reference to what?

Luke's prison number (37) is a reference to the Bible. It references -Luke 1:37, which says, "For with God nothing shall be impossible."

"Cool Hand Luke" was the first of how many collaborations between director Stuart Rosenberg and Paul Newman?

It was the first of 4 collaborations between director Stuart Rosenberg and Paul Newman. The others include "Pocket Money" (1972) and "WUSA" (1970).

What was built for this movie just north of Stockton, California?

A southern prison camp was built for this movie just north of Stockton, California. A dozen buildings were constructed, including a barracks, mess hall, warden's quarters, guard shack and dog kennels.

Although she played his mother in the film, Jo Van Fleet was only how many years older than Paul Newman?

Although she played his mother in the film, Jo Van Fleet was only 11 years older than Paul Newman. Newman was 42 when the film was released in 1967.

The fight scene between Dragline and Luke took how long to shoot?

The fight scene between Dragline and Luke took 3 days to shoot. George Kennedy said they were both completely worn out from fighting and, in Paul Newman's case, from falling onto hard ground for three full days.

The uncredited role of the Sheriff is played by whom?

Rance Howard was uncredited for his role as Sheriff. He is also known for being the father of Ron Howard and Clint Howard.

How many real eggs did Paul Newman eat during the filming of the legendary 50-egg scene?

Paul Newman ate 8 full eggs during filming of the legendary egg scene. According to George Kennedy, after filming the boiled-egg scene, when Stuart Rosenberg yelled "Cut," Newman would vomit into a garbage can.

Just before Luke is brought back from one of his escape attempts, Dragline lets which inmate look at the picture of Luke that he hides in the magazine?

This scene acts as a spoiler. As Koko opens the magazine, clearly visible on the opposite page is an article titled "The Illusion That Kills," with an image of a hunter firing a rifle, which is pointed directly at Luke's chest. This is obviously a reference to "The Man with No Eyes."

Who shoots and kills Luke?

Luke, while looking out of the church window, shouts out, "What we got here is...failure to communicate." Blind Dick then shoots Luke. Dragline helps Luke outside and then goes after Blind Dick. It takes several guards to get Dragline off of Blind Dick. His sunglasses are knocked to the ground and are then run over by the prison vehicle, truly rendering him "The Man with No Eyes".

In the final scene, who eulogizes Luke?

In the final scene, Dragline eulogizes Luke. He explains that, despite Luke's death, his actions succeeded in defeating the system. The closing shot shows inmates working on crossroads with the repaired photo of Luke and the two women superimposed.

How many times did Luke try to escape throughout the film?

Luke escapes three times. When he escapes from the chain gang for the third time and wanders into an old beaten-down shell of a church, he famously says, "Anybody here? Hey, Old Man. You home tonight? Can you spare a minute? It's about time we had a little talk".

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