Cool Hand Luke is a film filled with the presence and absence of Old Men. Luke [Paul Newman] is an aging man who is searching for purpose. Bored with his life he makes choices that land him opposite of the law and thus locked up. It is within a community of inmates and wardens [pretty much all old men] that the story unfolds.
Despite the fact they never appear on screen, the two most important old men in Luke’s life are the ones that fill this movie: His Dad and God.
Maybe if God weren’t so often referred to as “Heavenly Father” people wouldn’t so deeply connect his nature to their earthly fathers. But whether you are a baptized-born-again believer, an agnostic wondering and wavering between faith and doubt or an atheist who is sure there is nothing up there other than blue sky, your sense of who God is [or isn’t] is likely a reflection of your relationship with your Old Man.
Loving. Absent. Wrathful. Patient. Will never let you borrow some cash. Gracious. Buzz killer.
Who is your Old Man?
Cool Hand Luke takes the Old Man cards that are dealt to every human and plays them masterfully on the screen in a story filled with symbolism and significance.