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Never Say Die Of all the films that were released in 1967 few had the power and stamina of displaying detailed characterizations in the manner of which Cool Hand Luke did Its strong message of individuality was a welcomed choice in the 20th centurys most turbulent decade which of course were the 1960s Based on the novel by Donn Pearce and adapted for the screen by Pearce and Frank R Pierson and Oscar nominated for Screenplay Adaptation Cool Hand Luke opens with a lazy and most effective scene showing Luke Jackson cutting the heads off of parking meters in a drunken haze in the confines of a small southern town Promptly picked up by the police and sentenced to two years for maliciously destroying public property while under the influence Luke is transported to a prison camp led by a character named Dragline Dragline rules with an iron fist over the gang but manages to maintain many friends and constantly earns the respect of his fellow prisoners The scene in which Luke is brought to prison sets the tone for the entire film as director Stuart Rosenberg sternly outlines the disciplinary policy of the facilitys captain Strother Martin and its guards whom the prisoners are told to refer to as boss Lukes mission is to immediately challenge Dragline for leadership of the gang and a conflicting scene involving a boxing match between the two puts Luke on good terms with the other prisoners and the guards themselves also notice this Dragline ends up becoming Lukes friend and protector and the film becomes a series of rebellious acts executed by Luke One somber and heartfelt scene has Luke in contact with his mother who comes to visit him and she is dying presumably of lung cancer as we see her coughing and chain-smoking her way to the grave He refers to his mother
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