Some movies are so iconic that you have to think twice to remember you never saw them, at least all the way through. For me, Cool Hand Luke is one of these. Sure, I knew the failure to communicate line. I could probably have told you it was Strother Martin that said it. And the egg-eating scene, and the Christ allusions. But no I never actually saw it.
So when I visit my local library, which has an exemplary video collection, I often have to stop while I am grazing and think about whether I actually saw this or that film, or whether I am just overly familiar with its trappings. I am catching up with a lot of good movies this way.
On my last trip to the library, then, I picked up Cool Hand Luke, which happened to be showcased in a display of 60’s films. Over in new movies was a copy of The Paperboy, so I picked that up, too.
I made a double feature of it. No design to that–just happenstance. It happens that there were a few things they had in common, having to do with how the male and female bodies are displayed.
If you’ve seen Cool Hand Luke (and of course you have since who hasn’t seen Cool Hand Luke?) you’ll recall a scene in which the chain-ganged prisoners are made wild by the sight of a buxom lass (Joy Harmon) who has decided to wash her car with a certain abandon right in front of the poor guys’ chained-up, pent-up libidos. Harmon’s ample body provides a nice contrast with the summer dress she is barely squoze into. It is a short and willowy blue floral print number, which highlights the curves that almost don’t fit.
Here is Nicole squished into her. . . short and willowy blue floral print number.
If you’ve seen the movie, you know that in this scene she also, ahem, excites a prisoner, along with the other guys in the prison visiting room.
OK, that’s the distaff side. What about the guys?
Well, there it’s the triumph of the classic white underwear briefs. The prisoners in Luke fairly parade around in them when not out on the chain gang. . . .
…as does Zac Efron in The Paperboy.
You can’t keep a good old, shaggy Southern tale down. It will rise again.