ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – C – Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Director: Stuart Rosenberg

Writer: Donn Pearce, Frank Pierson (Screenplay) Donn Pearce (Novel)

Starring: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, J.D. Cannon, Lou Antonio, Robert Drivas, Strother Martin, Jo Van Fleet

 

Plot: A laid back Southern man is sentenced to two years in a rural prison, but refuses to conform.


Tagline – Sometimes, “Nothing” can be a really Cool Hand

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Classic We Know

 

Story: Cool Hand Luke starts as war veteran Newman) is sent to a rural prison for cutting the heads of parking metres. Wanting to keep to himself it isn’t long before he starts befriending the leader of the men in the prison Dragline (Kennedy) as they start to pass the times with bets and fights.

As Luke’s two year sentence runs, life catches up with him as he must deal with the consequences of his actions, moments in life that he will miss, forcing him to want to break the rules of the prison.

 

Thoughts on Cool Hand Luke

 

Characters – Luke is the war veteran who in a drunken state destroys parking metres, he is calm while set to prison and knows how to improve his standing with the prisoners, as he plans his own escape from the prison, he misses out on big moments of life, but it is clear he is dealing with the effects of war. Dragline runs the prisoner side of the inmates, if he likes you, you get anything, he keeps the people calm while dealing with the struggles they are facing, he befriends Luke during the time in the prison. We have a large amount of inmates in the prison each with their own characters, we have the strict wardens and owner of the prison who keep the men in line, while befriending them if they follow the rules.

PerformancesPaul Newman shines here giving us one of the best performances of any acting career, we completely understand the troubles he has been facing as the man who needed help from the world. George Kennedy in the supporting role is fantastic while the rest of the cast fill their roles well letting Newman shine.

StoryThe story here follows Luke in his time in prison, he has been sent there because of a minor crime and his problems are clear for all to see, he is a war veteran facing the consequences that had yet to be truly healed when returning home. We see how he tries to escape from the prison as he is ready to try and go against the rules of life which shows us just how broken this man was, we would get a lot more support in the modern era. The bond between the prisoners is strong in the story telling showing how they can become like one to help pass the time, with the wardens and guards even showing moments of sympathy towards the prisoners.

CrimeThe crime side of the film shows us just where a minor criminal will end up, how they must get through the prison routine even if they want to escape.

SettingsThe film is set in the prison, it shows us how isolated this location is, meaning running isn’t going to be the option.


Scene of the Movie –
The final moments.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Bloodhounds seem mistreated.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the classic films, it is one that does stand the test of time and shows just how Paul Newman was one of the greatest actors of all time.

 

Overall: Must watch classic film.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Romance – G – The Graduate (1967)

Director: Mike Nichols

Writer: Calder Willingham, Buck Henry (Screenplay) Charles Webb (Novel)

Starring: Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross, Williams Daniels, Murray Hamilton, Elizabeth Wilson

 

Plot: A disillusioned college graduate finds himself torn between his older lover and her daughter.


Tagline – This is Benjamin. He’s a little worried about his future.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Coming of Age Movie

 

Story: The Graduate starts when college student Ben Braddock (Hoffman) returns home after the four years of studying, he has no idea what to do with his future and when he his father’s partner’s wife Mrs Robinson (Bancroft) tries to seduce him, he starts having an affair throughout the summer.

With the affair keeping the sex happening whenever they want it, when Mrs Robinson’s daughter Elaine (Ross) returns to town the two are set up by the rest of the parents. Soon Ben is torn between the two women as he searches for answers in his future.

 

Thoughts on The Graduate

 

Characters – Ben Braddock is the college student that has finished his studies and now he doesn’t know where to start the next chapter of his life, this changes when he ends up in an affair with Mrs Robinson before falling for her daughter complicating his life even more. This character shows how difficult life after college can be for anyone that spends years studying if they have no direction afterwards. Mrs Robinson is Ben’s father’s partner’s wife (wow that is a mouthful) who seduces Ben offering his sex in secret whenever he would like it, they have an affair and she becomes very demanding to escape her loveless marriage. Elaine is the daughter of Mrs Robinson that has grown up with Ben, also back from studying the two start dating against Mrs Robinson’s wish.

PerformancesDustin Hoffman in the leading role is great, he shows the nervous side to his character during the affair and the determination to be with Elaine. Anne Bancroft as the older woman coming into the young man’s life is great to, we see how easily she could have seduced someone. Katharine Ross is good as the daughter that has good chemistry with Hoffman.

StoryThe story here follows a young man taking his first steps into the real world after college, he has no idea where he wants to go and ends up in the middle of a love triangle with a mother and daughter. This does touch on the difficult side of life after college even though we don’t spend enough time face this truth. The main part we focus on dealing with one man trying to understand love even when people are going to make things difficult for him. This does send the message about finding love before a career, which is strange. The idea works well for this story as does pace things perfectly well.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy comes from Dustin Hoffman’s reaction to most things, he looks awkward throughout which does make us laugh, the romance however is strange because why would the woman date the guy she knows had an affair with her mum, just why?

SettingsThe film settings show the everyday life these people would be going through, we do get to head off to different cities as long as you know the university lay out you will know where we are.


Scene of the Movie –
The single shot of the summer follow Ben.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The weird idea of the relationships between the women and Ben.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the biggest coming of age movies of all time, it has iconic scenes and is one people will always remember the songs for.

 

Overall: One of the classics of cinema.

Rating

 

 

The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Director: Robert Aldrich

Writer: Nunnally Johnson, Lukas Heller (Screenplay) E M Nathanson (Novel)

Starring: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, Richard Jaeckel, Donald Sutherland

 

Plot: During World War II, a rebellious U.S. Army Major is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic We All Know

 

Story: The Dirty Dozen starts as Major Reisman (Marvin) is assigned to train 12 convicted criminals lined up for execution to go on a secret mission in German during World War II. The criminals include Joseph Wladislaw (Brosnan), Robert Jefferson (Brown) and Victor Franko (Cassavetes) who along with the rest of the crew must go under training to be combat ready.

The men start coming into shape and start working in a unit but when other generals want to bring down and end the unit, Reisman must fight to get his men on the battle field to prove to General Worden (Borgnine) he can turn get these men into battle.

 

Thoughts on The Dirty Dozen

 

Characters/PerformanceMajor Reisman is the man assigned the criminal unit, he knows how to get men into line when it comes to battle and will risk his own career to prove he can make these men a powerful unit. General Worden assigns Reisman the unit believe he couldn’t get it done but also has to make the decisions on who to put into the field. Joseph Wladislaw is one of the criminals who happily takes up the role required and his German speaking background helps on the mission. Jefferson takes up one of the reluctant leaders of the unit. Franko is the one that rebels the most but soon learns his place even when he is standing up for the right thing.

Performance wise, Lee Marvin is great in the leading role dominating the screen whenever he appears, we also have a fantastic supporting cast that all know how to pull off their roles.

StoryThe story follows a group of misfits being pulled together to go on a deadly mission, this is always an entertaining type of story to watch as we like unlikely heroes but the problem with a lot of this story is we must support murderers who are just escaping death row rather than guys who have just fallen of the rails. The story is also slightly long but it does give each supporting character enough time.

Action/Adventure/Comedy/WarWe have the standard war time action sequences that have never come off overly original. We have nice moments of comedy mostly through the training sequences and the adventure coming from how hard the men must work.

SettingsEach setting works as it shows the different stages from the training to the mission itself.

EffectsThe effects all work for where the film is planning on going which does help and they are only used sparingly.

Final ThoughtsThis will always go down as one of the classic in war films and even after 50 years it doesn’t feel like it has been dated yet.

 

Overall: Still one of the classics of cinema.

Rating