Cool Hand Luke script
Synopsis: Cool Hand Luke is a 1967 American prison drama film directed by Stuart Rosenberg, starring Paul Newman and featuring George Kennedy in an Oscar-winning performance. Newman stars in the title role as Luke, a prisoner in a Florida prison camp who refuses to submit to the system.

FADE IN:

EXT. SOUTHERN CITY STREET EXTREME CLOSEUP PARKING METER

(NIGHT)

Its irritating head opens a glaring red eye: the red flag

pops across the entire screen:

VIOLATION:

INSERT:
PARKING METER SUPPORT (NIGHT)

CLOSEUP of a pipe cutter attached to the meter neck, metal

slivers curling out. From o.s. we HEAR -- LUCAS JACKSON

cheerfully humming and mumbling Auld Lang Syne and then:

LUKE:

Okay, Mister General, you son of a

bitch. Sir. Think you can put things

right with a piece of tin with a

ribbon hangin' on it? Gonna put you

right.

CLOSEUP PARKING METER (NIGHT)

as the meter head falls out of FRAME.

NEW ANGLE ON METER (NIGHT)

as it falls to the ground amidst a forest of meter stands

and Luke's hand comes into the FRAME to pick it up and we

SEE him in CLOSEUP for the first time. He is cheerful, drunk,

wearing a faded GI Field jacket. A bottle opener hangs on a

silver chain around his neck. He addresses the next meter.

LUKE:

All right. Helen, honey. I lost my

head over you. Now its your turn.

Suddenly the beam of headlights crashes in, FLARING the

SCREEN.

ANGLE ON PROWL CAR (NIGHT)

sliding up to us, headlights glaring, red toplight revolving

menacingly. TWO OFFICERS, black shapes, get out and start

warily toward Luke.

ON LUKE (NIGHT)

illuminated by the headlights. He grins as the Officers

approach, lifts a bottle of beer, opens it and drinks,

smiling. On his smile, FREEZE FRAME. ON THE FRAME SUPER-IMPOSE

MAIN TITLE and as it FADES

DISSOLVE TO:

OMITTED:

EXT. CLOSEUP A YOYO BLADE IN THE SUN

It swings with a pendulum motion, its shining blade topping

a clump of grass and weeds; it swings on the backstroke,

lopping more grass, then moves a little away from CAMERA.

FROM CAMERA RIGHT, a pair of feet move INTO the FRAME, the

feet of the man swinging the yoyo. They are booted and

connected by chains, riveted around the ankles. The feet

move further INTO the FRAME and the SHOT WIDENS. We are on:

EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD (DAY)

and we see the work gang in uniforms (14 men) flailing away

with yoyos, short-handled scythes in the hot sun, guarded by

three men. Three of the workers wear chains (Gambler,

Dynamite, Sailor). The scene is bleached and hot; the men

sweating and dirty in prison shirts and pants. The light

shifts during the following:

A MONTAGE OF A FULL DAY - SUPERIMPOSE TITLES AS APPROPRIATE

OVER FOLLOWING:

ANGLE ON RABBIT:

He is a trustee. He walks up INTO CAMERA and sets up sign:

SLOW DOWN -- MEN AT WORK

ANGLE ON DRAGLINE (9:00 A.M.)

He is a giant, covered with sweat and dust. He starts to

pull off his shirt.

DRAGLINE:

Takin' it off here, Boss!

BOSS KEAN:

Yeah, take it off, Dragline!

ANGLE BOSS KEAN (11:00 A.M.)

pulling out watch, looking at the sun.

ANGLE THE BULL GANG

flailing away, most of them naked to the waist.

ANGLE KOKO:

He is sweating streams.

KOKO:

Wipin' it off here, Boss!

BOSS SHORTY:

Okay, wipe it off there, Koko.

Koko takes out a limp handkerchief and mops his face.

ANGLE ON GAMBLER (A CHAINMAN) (NOON)

his yoyo flashing like a sword. He pauses, panting.

GAMBLER:

Drinkin' it up here, Boss!

ANGLE BOSS KEAN:

BOSS KEAN:

Awright, drink it up, Gambler. Water

'em, Rabbit.

NEW ANGLE GAMBLER AND GANG

as Gambler takes a drink from a tin cup, passed by Rabbit.

FULL SHOT THE GANG (2:00 P.M.)

working away like a machine.

ANGLE PAST BOSS GODFREY TO BOSS SHORTY

Godfrey is the Walking Boss, silent, implacable symbol of

ultimate judgement. He wears a black hat, globular mirrored

sunglasses -- the Man With No Eyes, impassive, emotionless.

He nods to Boss Shorty.

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Donn Pearce

Donn Pearce (born, September 28th, 1928) is an American author and journalist best known for the novel and screenplay Cool Hand Luke. more…

All Donn Pearce scripts | Donn Pearce Books

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"Cool Hand Luke" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 18 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/cool_hand_luke_837>.

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