“VIOLATION” is the first thing seen when watching the screen, setting the theme right off the bat for the movie “Cool Hand Luke”. Lukas Jackson, a man introduced to us by cutting the heads off parking meters, is sent to a chain gang for two years as punishment. After watching the film, and reading the reviews, it is obvious that there are several pertinent ideas that characterize the film’s central theme-Luke’s question of his faith, his keen smile that tells all, how he is neither a hero or an anti hero, and how ironically he is a Christ like figure himself. From the very first minute in the movie, Luke has already introduced us to his famous smile. “The man grins foolishly and lifts a bottle in salute” (Champlin 3). This small grin, sets up the tone for the rest of the movie. A grin so powerful, that even after his defeat it continues to shine through, “In the end, Luke is martyred in a church after a final run for freedom, but his everlasting spirit is invoked by Kennedy’s recollection of “that ole’ Luke smile” and montage of Newman grinning from here to eternity” (Pevere 1). Who ever thought something as small as a smile would be so telling about a character? Well this portrayal of Luke smile certainly answered that question. While watching the film, the thought of Jesus Christ becomes repetitive. From the scene where Luke is eating all the rice resembling the last supper, till the end where his photograph is crinkled in the shape of a cross, Jesus Christ is a definite aspect for theme. “Small wonder so many folks saw a blue-eyed Jesus in the role” (Pevere 1). It is a small wonder-isn’t it? How ironically the rebel of the film resembles Jesus Christ himself. “ Then too, after the station wagon bearing the dying Newman drives off into the rainy night, a dramatic point at which to have ended the film, there is a postlude establishing partly with flashbacks that Newman has Christ-like become a convict legend” (Champlin 4). Regardless of his...
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