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->''"Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand."''

''Cool Hand Luke'' (1967) is the story of Lucas "Luke" Jackson (Creator/PaulNewman) during his stay at a Florida prison camp sometime in the late [[TheForties Forties]] or early [[TheFifties Fifties]], and how he stands up to the system within the camp.

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!!Listin' the tropes here, Boss:

* AlcoholInducedIdiocy: Luke's in jail because he got drunk and decided to decapitate some parking meters. Pretty much everyone who hears this was his crime remarks on the sheer pointless stupidity of it.
-->'''Luke:''' Small town, not much to do in the evenin'.
* AllCrimesAreEqual: Subverted. Luke's stay was supposed to be short (three to six months), but his antics increase that number.
* ArchEnemy: The Captain to Luke Jackson.
* BalloonBelly: [[NauseaFuel Fifty eggs, man!...]]
* TheBet: Dragline bets that Luke can eat fifty hard-boiled eggs in one hour.
* BigBad: The Captain.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Luke dies and the camp goes back to normal, but the camp director has been one-upped and his [[TheDragon bodyguard is similarly]] broken. Luke's death also appears to have transformed him into a heroic martyr figure for Dragline and the rest of the inmates.]]
* CaptivityHarmonica: Luke's banjo is a variation.
* CardboardPrison: Luke is able to escape prison regularly (though he's usually brought back quickly). [[spoiler:Finally, the sheriff has enough and shoots him]].
* CoolShades: The evil prison warder in his impenetrable mirror shades.
* CreatorCameo: Donn Pearce, who wrote the original novel, appears as the convict Sailor.
* CrucifiedHeroShot: After the infamous Fifty Eggs contest... strangely enough. There's also the way [[spoiler:Luke's photo of him with two ladies is torn, and is slammed in your face at the end.]] Juxstaposed over a shot of two roads intersecting like a cross, just to drive the point home.
* DarkestHour: [[spoiler:Luke comes back on his own after he runs away the second time after he grows tired of getting abused by people who threaten to call the police on him. The camp's punishment apparently breaks him, and no one thinks of Luke as a hero anymore... until he runs away the third time by pretending to be brainwashed and dutifully fetch some water from the truck. Dragline assumes he was faking the whole time, but Luke claims he actually had been broken, and this last escape was purely on the spur of the moment.]]
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Subverted. Luke and Dragline start off as rivals and eventually find themselves in a boxing match. While Luke doesn't really beat him, he just keeps getting back up after getting knocked down, making Dragline quit out of tiredness. They soon become friends after that.
* DefiantToTheEnd: [[spoiler:Luke]] complete with IronicEcho ("What we've got here is a failure to communicate").
* {{Determinator}}: Luke's spirit can't be broken, even if he's been badly trounced in a fight he doesn't give up, and he's constantly scheming ways to escape.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: The Captain.
* FamousLastWords: "'What we've got here is a failure to communicate.'" [[spoiler:Luke]]
* FanService: Paul Newman and a bunch of other men working, frequently [[ShirtlessScene shirtless]]? Also, Lucille, both in-universe and out-of-universe.
* TheFilmOfTheBook: Based on a 1965 novel by Donn Pearce, who co-wrote the screenplay with Frank Pierson.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: [[spoiler: The magazine page opposite the photo of Luke has a picture of a man aiming a rifle at him.]]
* ForYourOwnGood: When Luke is captured after his first escape attempt and fit into chains before the other inmates, the Captain loudly informs Luke, and the prison at large, how the chains will remind him not to try and escape, ending with "For yer own good." Luke dryly replies "I wish you'd stop being so good to me, Captain."
* GoOutWithASmile: [[spoiler:Luke himself dies this way.]]
* TheHeroDies: [[spoiler:Luke himself at the end.]]
* HoodOrnamentHottie: The road crew is forced to watch a sexy blond temptress [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kliy32YWFcU wash her car]].
* KickTheDog: During the scene when Luke has to repeatedly dig a ditch then fill it back in again, the spade the guards give him is one with a broad, flat head. A spade like this is designed for digging in loose soil or sand, not hard packed dirt. While it gets easier once he has dug the initial hole, it does take him an entire night just to dig it out the first time, and he's so exhausted he can barely move.
* MeaningfulEcho: "What we've got here is a failure to communicate!"
* MessianicArchetype: Luke
* MyGirlIsNotASlut: When Dragline goes on about "Lucille" and [[InnocentFanserviceGirl how ridiculously sexy she is without even meaning to do it,]] Luke points out [[TheTease how she was very obviously cockteasing the men.]]
-->'''Dragline''': Oh, god...she doesn't know what she's doin'!
-->'''Luke''': Oh, boy, she knows ''exactly'' what she's doin'. Drivin' us crazy and lovin' every minute of it.
-->'''Dragline''': Shut your mouth about my Lucille.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Luke's "I got my mind right, boss" act could be seen as a variant of this.
* OneLinerEcho: [[spoiler:Luke's final sentence, "What we have here is a failure to communicate," is taken from a speech by the evil warden]].
* PlayingGertrude: Jo Van Fleet was only 11 years older than Creator/PaulNewman, despite playing his mother.
* PoorMansPorn: At one point Fixer is shown reading aloud from an erotic paperback novel.
* PunishmentBox: The TropeCodifier.
* ReturningWarVet: Luke is one of these (whether from UsefulNotes/WorldWarII or [[UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar Korea]] isn't specified in the film, though in the novel it's the former). It's revealed that, despite having made sergeant and earned several citations during his time in the Army, he'd also done time in the stockade and gotten busted back down to private by the time he was discharged. Whether his problems with authority and general anti-social behavior are a product, or a cause, of these experiences is never really addressed.
* RuleOfSymbolism: After the egg eating contest, Luke is in a pose that is suspiciously like Jesus on the cross and [[Literature/TheBible Luke]] has a brother named [[Literature/TheFourGospels John]].
* RuleOfThree: [[spoiler:Luke's punishment,]] and his [[spoiler: three attempts of running.]]
* SanctuaryOfSolitude: This at the end, with Luke sneaking into a church to talk to God.
* ScaryShinyGlasses: Donned by Boss Godfrey, also known as "The Man With No Eyes." Who [[TheVoiceless never talks]]. And who you do ''not'' talk to.
* SelfInflictedHell: If Luke would just shut his mouth, keep a low profile, and go along to get along, both his life and his time in prison would be a lot easier. However, due to a rebellious nature that he seems incapable of controlling, he can't do any of these things, and ''damn'' does it ever make his life hard.
* SinisterShades: The prison guard wears a pair of sinister shades while watching the prisoners in the hot sun.
* SmiteMeOhMightySmiter: Asks for it in the rain. No response.
* SuperPersistentPredator: An inversion: when Luke escapes prison, he runs so persistently that the bloodhound trailing him runs itself to death.
* ThemeTune: While not the primary theme, a piece of music used in a scene from the film called the "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOWkPk2ETXc Tar Sequence]]" was licensed by Creator/{{ABC}} to become the news theme for local newscasts on many of their stations until the mid 90's (when the network commissioned a SuspiciouslySimilarSong so that they wouldn't have to pay large royalties for its use) and became a critical part of the Eyewitness News local news format, where it is ubiquitous for being the SignatureSong associated with American local news. Still in use today by Australia's Creator/NineNetwork for their theme.
* TitleDrop: Luke wins a hand of poker bluffing with "nothing." He comments, "Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand." This is a big establishing moment for his personality.
* TheTrickster: Luke has a disrupting influence on the day-to-day life in the prison.
* UncommonTime: The "Tar Sequence" is in 5/4, by Lalo Schifrin (who also created the ''Series/MissionImpossible'' theme in 5/4).
* WardensAreEvil: The Captain is the sadistic warden of a chain gang prison. He ruthlessly mistreats Luke by locking him in a punishment box and having him beaten.
* WhatWereYouThinking: The captain asks Luke what he thought defacing parking meters would get him. Luke replies that, being drunk at the time, he probably wasn't thinking.
* WorkingOnTheChainGang: What Luke does in-between several prison breaks.

!!List the tropes there, Luke.
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