In the Film of Cool Hand Luke a man by the name of Lucas “Luke” Jackson is sentenced to two years in a Florida prison camp for cutting the heads off of parking meters while intoxicated. He is subjugated to hard labor all under the scrutiny of a ruthless hierarchy with the warden at the top and then the guards and the inmates following. They all begin to test Luke’s spirit but he soon makes it self-evident that he isn’t going to play by the rules and the warden and his guards must stamp out this symbol of rebellion and hope for the other prisoners. As Luke’s story unfolds throughout the film he will perform many actions that help the prisoners gain faith in themselves and each other and they will all begin to work together thanks to Luke and as time goes on these actions will personify Luke in many ways to be a Christ like figure.
The film begins in the early 1960’s with a man by the name of Lucas Jackson cutting the heads off of a row of parking meters while intoxicated. He is picked up by the authorities and sentenced to two years in a Florida prison camp. He is greeted by the warden, the captain and his guards, or better known as “Bosses” by the inmates, immediately upon arrival. They begin to judge Luke for what he has done and this can arguably be compared to the romans bringing Jesus before Pontius Pilate to be judged for blasphemy. Luke was Cutting the heads off of parking meters to “settle an old score” (Cool Hand Luke) as he puts it, meaning he was doing it for a reason he believed in. Jesus was being judged by Pilate for spreading the word of god and bringing his belief’s to others. As the story continues Luke is introduced to the chain gang most notably their so called leader Dragline, a seasoned member who gave names to all the other inmates. As time goes on Luke begins to anger Dragline with his attitude to the point where Dragline tells Luke “OK, new meat. You get some sleep. And save your strength, cause you 're
Cited: Barron, Frank. "Film as Art and Psychology; Cool Hand Luke as Exemplar." Creativity Research Journal 10.2-3 (1997): 99-106. Print. Cool Hand Luke. Dir. Stuart Rosenburg. Perf. Paul Newman, George Kennedy, and Strother Martin. Warner Bros., 1967. DVD. Gutterman, Mel. "ABUSE,RACISM,TORTURE,SAVAGERY Hollywood Pictures the Dark Side of American Prisons." Ebscohost.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Oct. 2008