Friday, August 20, 2010

"Any Man Don't Like This Movie Spends a Night in the Box"

Carr the Floorwalker said that. At least, I think he did. Carr laid down a lot of rules real fast (they are rendered a bit more musically here) in Cool Hand Luke, one of my very favorite movies. It's on Turner Classic Movies this weekend.

CHL is one of those rare cases of a film treatment as good as the book, which makes sense since they were both written by the same person. What's more, the author, back when he was a failed would-be writer, actually spent time on a Southern prison chain gang. The movie sets for CHL were exact recreations of a real 'road prison' in Florida that was still operating in 1967 when the movie was made. With all that gritty realism going for it, plus religious symbolism, macho male philosophy and endless quotability ("taking it off here, Boss"), this movie kicks ass like The Man With No Eyes.

You've got your 1984, your One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, your Prisoner, your Sand Pebbles, and other good non-conformist anti-hero movies, but there is just something about CHL that I really like.


Eagle1 said...

Digging it up here, Boss!

TSB said...

My favorite bit of CHL movie trivia:

According to an interview with George Kennedy, the scene in which "Lucille" washes the car was filmed over two and one half days while the rest of the cast sat around idlying. Only about two and a half minutes of it was used in the movie. So, somewhere in this world there is a private collection of about a million feet of film with Lucille doing a 1950s version of a solo wet T-shirt contest.