Brisbane – Australia





Cool Hand Luke



Some snippets about the movie you may not have known? 



Paul Newman Wasn’t a Shoo-In

Jack Lemmon’s Jalem Productions bought the rights to the novel, with Lemmon thinking of playing Luke Jackson himself.  He eventually decided that the part wasn’t right for him.  Telly Savalas was also considered.  In the end, the role went to Newman, who’d lobbied hard to land it.


The Writer Didn’t Think Much of the Star

Donn Pearce thought Newman was too “cute-looking” and “too scrawny” to be believable as a prisoner doing hard time on a chain gang.  “He wouldn’t have lasted five minutes on the road” Pearce said of the actor.




Newman Insisted on Playing Banjo

Unfortunately, he didn’t know how.  This caused friction between the star and the director as a key scene was delayed for several weeks.  During that period, the great character actor Harry Dean Stanton, who had a small role in the movie, taught Newman how to play “Plastic Jesus” on the banjo.




He Didn’t Eat 50 Eggs

“I never swallowed an egg” Newman said of the famous scene in which Luke bets that he can eat 50 hard-boiled eggs in an hour.  A garbage can was kept nearby so the actor could spit out as much egg as possible.





The Studio Demanded More Blue

Cinematographer Conrad Hall had to shoot some scenes several times before the studio was satisfied.  The problem: He’d failed to play up Newman’s famous blue eyes.








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