Tuesday, August 17, 2010


"Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand."

Newman. Hopper. These names are synonymous with the 1967 Oscar-nominated film classic, Cool Hand Luke.

But these screen grabs are taken from a lesser known movie. A short 8mm film shot simultaneously by an avant-garde artist/director by the name of Bruce Conner. His version is known simply as Luke. Conner was a buddy of Dennis Hopper's that was allowed to pal around on set during the making of the picture.

It is a 22 minute behind-the-scenes glimpse of one of those iconic moments from the film. Convicts shoveling dirt along the blazing hot tarmac. Cameras setting up. Positions shifting. Empty director chairs. And through it all an affable Paul Newman.

The release of this flick is closely guarded by the Conner family and is generally viewable only during artist gallery openings.

I saw a boot-legged copy of it many years ago during a party. It's a real cool hand.

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