#178 / 365 – ‘Cool Hand Luke’ (1967) – 126 mins
IMDb Challenge #105 / 250 – Ranked #136 – Via DVD Collection
Luke Jackson (Paul Newman) is sent to a prison camp, where he gets a reputation as a hard man. The head of the gang hates him, and tries to break him by beating him up. It doesn’t work, and he gains respect. His mother dies, and he escapes, but is caught, escapes again, and is caught again. Will the camp bosses ever break him?
There may have been better actors out there, but not stars and along with Steve McQueen there is one thing that made Paul Newman a rare breed – they were ‘true’ movie stars who deservedly garnered that ‘King of Cool’ tag. Along with his charm, and cheeky grin he exudes this coolness to full effect in as the chain gang member who rises to iconic status within the prison due to his attitude on non-conformity.
Although this prison drama film overall themes are serious, Cool Hand Luke does contain a lot of humor and this stands out in a couple of classic scenes. The first being when a young woman (played by Joy Harmon) who seductively washes her car to whom the bunch of hard-working, sweaty convicts ogle to, as they go about their work along the side of the road. To which the leader of the gang Dragline (George Kennedy) brilliantly quotes – “Oh Lord, whatever I done, don’t strike me blind for another couple of minutes. Oh you Lucille!”. Later in the film, in what is the films now most iconic moment is when Luke claims he can eat 50 eggs in one hour for a bet. Watching Luke endure the ordeal is an amusing experience.
Strother Martin play the Captain who taunts Luke with the legendary line, “What we’ve got here is… failure to communicate.”. Well there is no failure in Cool Hand Luke as it’s a sharp, honest film that stills packs a punch.
#179 / 365 – ‘Annie Hall’ (1977) – 93 mins
IMDb Challenge #106 / 250 – Ranked #133 – Via DVD Collection
After breaking up with his girlfriend Annie Hall (Diane Keaton), neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) goes on a stream of consciousness journey through his memories of their relationship, trying to find out what caused them to part ways. Is reconciliation with Annie possible, or will Alvy make the same mistakes?
Winner of four Oscars Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actress for Diane Keaton flawless role. Woody Allen’s Annie Hall as a perfect blend of everything that makes his movies great; New York, Woody’s quirky humour, and the dialogue which is intelligent and frank.
It’s evident to see Allen’s rom-com style as been used many times since most notably, ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and ‘(500) Days Of Summer’ . Even though Annie Hall is considered by many to be Woody Allen’s breakthrough movie for me his masterpiece will forever remain ‘Manhattan’ – but this comes damn close.