This is Paul Newman’s career performance and the one that should have awarded him the Oscar for Best Actor – not that other role in The Color of Money, which was a ‘we forgot about you’ Oscar. The physical punishment that Newman endured during the filming of Cool Hand Luke, combined with his stellar acting is the reason why this is his shining moment as a film actor. You become so enamored with his performance that when he endures so much physical punishment, you want him to continue to try and escape the prison, not matter how many times he fails. I’ve heard many critics call Newman’s Luke the anti-hero. He is in fact a hero. Just because the circumstances surrounding the character’s incarceration are based on unlawful activities doesn’t mean that the character automatically becomes the anti-hero. Luke is a heroic character because Newman’s performance makes him so. In the hands of another actor, this would not be the case.
There are some wonderful iconic things about this movie besides Newman’s performance. Strother Martin’s “What we’ve got here is… failure to communicate” is one of the great movie lines in history. The fact that is comes from the lips of a surprisingly warm, yet sadistic prison warden shows the kind of depth that this film has. Also, the guard who wears the mirror sunglasses known as Boss has been imitated and caricatured for years (especially on The Simpsons: “No talking. No Listening. Do you hear me?”) The egg-eating scene is particularly unpleasant to watch but no more less iconic than the famous line and the characters themselves.
George Kennedy gives a wonderful performance as Luke’s rival, then as his confidante. Starting out as this big, mean leader of the prison, he submits to the ultimate will of Luke and relies on him to get the inmates through their hellish situation as an example of how to never give up. There is just the right amount of dust, heat, dirt, sweat and humidity to let the audience really feel the effect all of this had on the prisoners. It’s one of the most powerful non-human characters in the film.
This was one of the great films of the late 1960s, but I can see it just as clearly being made in the era of all those great anti-establishment films of the early to mid-1970s like Dog Day Afternoon where the cinematography and setting play a crucial role in the film. Cool Hand Luke is one of these great films.
The political entitlement bug ravaged the already-dysfunctional and unnecessary Canadian Senate, now it has continued to make its rounds through the trenches of the rest of what is supposed to resemble the democratically elected government representatives in Canada.
This is not a new disease. It was born some time ago, but it seems (especially with the advent of social media and security cameras on every corner) that the episodes of politicians behaving like belligerent billionaire oil barons who have no respect for public office are becoming more and more frequent.
The last outlandish event involved former Conservative MP Helena Guergis throwing a tantrum and yelling at airport staff in Charlottetown, PEI in 2010. The latest episode (caught on tape) reveals what is really going on in some of the inflated heads who dare call themselves public servants.
Eve Adams, (another) Conservative MP has a hissy fit at an Ottawa gas station in December 2013 because the car wash she took her car through didn’t remove a thin layer of ice from the bumper of her car. Hi – earth to Eve, it’s the middle of winter in Canada. You were lucky the car wash removed the salt from your car. Also, the water from the car wash probably froze as you drove up in front of the gas station – and blocked traffic by the way – to complain about the most ridiculously minute complaint in the history of car washing. It is unfortunate that the audio is not audible in the clip, for that surely would have cooked her goose – though the letter that the gas station owner sent to the Prime Minister certainly seals her fate as yet another entitled politician.
But what is most galling (besides her initial complaint) is that she purposely parked her car in front of other drivers, preventing them from leaving the gas station – outrageous. She calls herself a politician. I call her self-serving, entitled, unrestrained and arrogant. Even the most loyal of Conservative party followers (the gas station owner himself) was outraged by her actions – befitting of someone who thinks that the world revolves around them.
Eve Adams is just one in a long, long line of recent politicians who thinks it fair and just to treat their constituents like trained seals and the dirt they walk on every day. Outrageous. These are the kind of people leading our government? What were the voters thinking? She obviously pulled the wool over their eyes – as politicians usually do. I imagine the situation kind of like how Bev Oda (the infamous politician who bought a $16 glass of orange juice and charged it to the taxpayers) got re-elected in 2011 (even after numerous taxpayer-funded expense scandals broke): flash your pearly whites, bat your eyelashes and play innocent. Voters aren’t dumb. This latest scandal is not financially based – it’s morally based. Canadians don’t stand for anyone (let alone politicians) playing Queen of the Gas Station and treating the patrons like her loyal subjects.
There are other issues at play that will also determine the fate of Eve Adams. However, it is the gas station incident that will stick with voters the most and will ultimately lead to her downfall – hopefully in the form of a crushing defeat at the ballot box. It’s sad, but even such an event won’t derail someone who is obviously delusional about how to act in public, something that should be an even bigger worry than a refund on a car wash.
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