When Luke Jackson is arrested for drunkenly vandalizing parking meters, he is sentenced to serve time on a prison chain gang. Although the warden, guards and prisoners all try to break Luke's spirit upon his arrival, it soon becomes clear that Luke is not about to play by anyone else's rules. He eventually earns the respect of his fellow inmates by refusing to back down in a fight, and he earns their friendship by figuring out a way for them to get their hard labor done in half the time. Luke eventually becomes a symbol of hope and resilience for his fellow prisoners, but the more he becomes revered by the inmates, the more he becomes a symbol of rebelliousness that must be stamped out by the guards and the warden.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
328 Ratings

328 Ratings

100% TOMATOMETER

Critics Consensus: Though hampered by Stuart Rosenberg's direction, Cool Hand Luke is held aloft by a stellar script and one of Paul Newman's most indelible performances.

14+ COMMON SENSE

Paul Newman classic about rebellion and conformity.

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