Cool Hand Luke

Joe Ferriero
Mr. Noyes
Composition Workshop
March 5, 2010

The Man with Nothing too Lose
      Cool Hand Luke is a classic movie filled with imagery, allusions, and symbolism and of course, Paul Newman.   This film is about a man who refuses to give into society’s norms and rules and lives his life to the fullest until the day he dies.   In this movie, there are many biblical allusions as well as Christ-like imagery that Luke portrays to the prisoners.   An example of this is at the end of the movie when Dragline is spreading Luke’s story it is like Jesus’ disciples spreading the word of God.   Even the name Luke is a biblical allusion because Luke was one of the disciples of Jesus.   Also this movie portrays society and authority figures in society as the guards of the jail.   The film documents how society and authority can break a person down, but it also shows the reverse about how a man with nothing to lose can affect and change people’s lives.   Finally this movie is able to incorporate the ancient Myth of Sisyphus into two key scenes; one showing Luke’s rise and one showing Luke’s fall.   Overall, Luke’s ability to act as a Christ-like figure showed how the guards truly act and the Myth of Sisyphus showed the audience Luke’s rise and fall as a tragic hero.
      Not one person on this planet is a perfect person, however, in the movie Cool Hand Luke, Luke emerges as the Christ-like figure that is willing to help them.   In this movie there are three key scenes that display this kind of behavior.   Those scenes are “Not Staying Down”, “The Big Event”, and “Drag’s special delivery”.   When Luke fights Dragline, in scene eight, there is a lot of pride on the line for both men, but one is more determined for a victory than the other.   Luke is beaten to a pulp; however, he continues to get back up and never quits.   Luke sends many messages throughout the movie, but this message to all the prisoners and guards about not staying down and never quitting gives him more...