Cool Hand Luke


Directed by Stuart Rosenberg. Starring Paul Newman and George Kennedy. 1967.

Viewed: Sunday, March 17th

Who Hadn’t Seen It: Brad and Monica

1967. The year that the Golden Age transformed into New Hollywood. Monica recently finished reading Mark Harris’ transcendent film history of the Best Picture nominees from that year, Pictures at a Revolution. This was after sitting through all five Best Picture nominees from that year (including the especially dreadful Doctor Doolittle starring Rex Harrison) with Brad after years and years of talking about it. Of course, there were plenty of great films that didn’t get nominated that year. Cool Hand Luke is one of them. And neither of us had seen it.

Cool Hand Luke focuses on a decorated veteran (Paul Newman) who is picked up for vandalism and sentenced to two years on a Southern chain gang. Luke refuses to bend in the face of any challenge, earning him respect from his fellow inmates and growing resentment from the Boss and his henchmen. It is also the sweatiest movie of all time.

Brad: In the debate of the sweatiest film of all time, this one wins hands down. Not even a debate.  I double dog dare you to find a sweatier film. Can’t be done. Also the sheer volume of grit and grime that collects in that sweat can’t be overlooked. I recommend watching this film while submerged in an ice bath. Continue reading


The Sound of Music

Sound of Music Blu Ray Screnshot

Directed by Robert Wise. Starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. 1965.

Viewed: Friday, March 1st

Who hadn’t seen it: Brad

This is the one that got us started. How could it be that anyone over 25 hasn’t seen this film? Even by accident? The missed cultural references alone would have been worth spending the three hours years ago. In case you’re one of the seven US citizens that hasn’t seen this, let’s do a rundown.

Maria (Julie Andrews) is a high-spirited nun-in-training who’s called to serve as a governess for the children of a widowed former Austrian war hero. The incorrigible seven children grow to love Maria as she wins them over with music and kindness, and then the strict Captain von Trapp (Christopher) falls for her as well. There is also a subplot about the looming war and the Nazi pressure for the Captain to report to active duty for Germany.

Brad: The embarrassing thing is not that I hadn’t seen The Sound of Music before (musicals we not part of my upbringing), the embarrassing thing is that it took Seth MacFarlane’s hacky bit at the recent Oscars to spark my interest to finally get off my duff and see this classic (and subsequently to start this project. Please don’t abandon us just yet). As the joke proceeding Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer’s introduction fell flat, I turned to Monica and said, “Let me guess, that’s how The Sound of Music ends, right?” Like a lot of people from our over-programmed generation, I get most of the pop culture references I get without a having any real experience of the item being referenced. I’m a bit of an oaf, but with great context clue comprehension. Let’s change this. I not only want to get the reference, I want to know that I get it. Kind of like the pop culture version of showing your work with an algebraic problem.
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