Trivia / Cool Hand Luke

  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Narrowly averted via Meaningful Echo. The famous line, "What we've got here is a failure to communicate!" is used towards the end of the film. The first instance of the line is "What we've got here is... failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach" (notably, the version without the indefinite article was sampled by Guns N' Roses for "Civil War").
    • Though it's also typically quoted with a thick southern accent, meaning the warden's version should be used.
  • Creator Cameo: Donn Pearce, who wrote the original novel, appears as the convict Sailor.
  • Disowned Adaptation: In a 1989 interview with the Miami Herald, Donn Pearce said, "I seem to be the only guy in the United States who doesn't like the movie. Everyone had a whack at it. They screwed it up 99 different ways." For one thing, Pearce thought Paul Newman was "too scrawny" and completely wrong for the part.
  • It Will Never Catch On:Columbia passed on making the film, having just lost a lot of money on the prison picture King Rat that no one went to see. They were also not keen on the fact that the lead character dies at the end.
  • Method Acting: Paul Newman learned how to play the banjo for this film. In order to develop his character, he traveled to West Virginia, where he recorded local accents and surveyed people's behavior.
  • Playing Gertrude: Jo Van Fleet was only 11 years older than Paul Newman, despite playing his mother.
  • What Could Have Been: Jack Lemmon (whose production company made the film) was originally offered the role of Luke, but after reading the script, he felt that Paul Newman would be perfect.
    • Bette Davis turned down the bit part of Luke's mother.
    • Telly Savalas was offered the role of either Luke or Dragline
  • Write Who You Know: Donn Pearce drew on his experiences in a chain gang.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/CoolHandLuke