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Yojimbo's Movie Reviews (2306)

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Cool Hand Luke 
"Cool Hand Luke" by Yojimbo
3/4 stars

One of the all-time icons of cinematic rebellion, Luke is thrown into a chain gang for two years when he gets drunk and decides to decapitate all of his small southern town's parking meters. His stubborn refusal to bow to the will of authority eventually makes him a hero to his fellow prisoners but a target to the brutal prison guards determined to break his spirit. Cool Hand Luke is a classic prison drama that has a strong message about subjugation and conformity and its effects on the human spirit. Luke is shown as a very likable but almost psychotically self-destructive obsessive whose total inability to defer to figures of authority (even god himself) makes him an almost legendary figure in the eyes of those less willful who vicariously experience his acts of rebellion to give them new hope. It's a character study of a man's blind rebellion against a system he did not make, always doomed to lose but unwilling to give up kicking against it. It's a film of real warmth, humour and passion, the centrepiece being Newman's fantastic performance which is one of the best of his career. Definitely up there with One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest as one the great stories of the underdog cocking a snoot at "The Man" and one of the finest prison dramas ever made. You'll never look at a boiled egg the way same again.


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