60 of the Most Interesting Cool Hand Luke Quotes

Morgan Woodward, Wayne Rogers, Dennis Hopper, Anthony Zerbe, George Kennedy, and obviously Paul Newman all starred in the 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke. The movie is actually based on a novel written by Donn Pearce, and was written based on Pearce’s own encounters and experiences in the Florida Department of Corrections and stories he had heard about a man named Luke Jackson.

Donn Pearce made an appearance in ‘Cool Hand Luke’ as a character named Sailor, but he apparently punched a cast and crew member on the last day filming and ultimately got banned from the set and wasn’t allowed at the movie premiere.

A few facts about movies are always interesting, like how Paul Newman’s character, Luke, has a scene where he eats 50 hard boiled eggs, Newman says that not a single egg was actually swallowed while filming that scene.

Another cool fact is that the actors all stayed at a local Holiday Inn where the movie was filmed, in Stockton, California.Paul Newman may sadly be gone, but he left his imprint on the world with his role in ‘Cool Hand Luke’ and other films that he starred in.

Cool Hand Luke Quotes

  1. “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” – Captain, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  2. “[putting Luke in the box when he learns that his mother has died] Sorry, Luke. Just doing’ my job. You gotta appreciate that.” – Boss Paul, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  3. “Well that oughta be easy for a genuine son of a b*tch.” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  4. “You know, sometimes, I wished people was like dogs, Luke. Comes a time, a day like, when the b*tch just don’t recognize the pups no more, so she don’t have no hopes nor love to give her pain. She just don’t give a d*mn..” – Arletta, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  5. “Yeah. I guess I gotta find my own way.” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  6. “Oh boy, she knows exactly what she’s doing. She’s driving us crazy, and loving every minute of it!” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  7. “Now, I can be a good guy, or I can be one real mean sum-b*tch.” – Captain, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  8. “Aw, callin’ it your job don’t make it right, boss.” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  9. “Boy, you’re new meat. You’re gonna have to shape up fast and hard for this gang. We got rules here. In order to learn ’em, you gotta do more work with your ears than with your mouth.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  10. “Oh, I had me, I had me some high old times. Your old man, Luke. He wasn’t much good for stickin’ around, but dammit, he made me laugh.” – Arletta, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  11. “Oh Luke, you wild, beautiful thing. You crazy handful of nothin’.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  12. “Is that your answer, old man? Well, I guess you’re a hard case too.” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  13. “[Watching the woman washing her car] Hey, Lord… whatever I done, don’t strike me blind for another couple of minutes.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  14. “He back-sassed a free man. They got their rules. We ain’t got nothing’ to do with that. Would probably have happened to him sooner or later anyway – a complainer like him. He gotta learn the rules the same as anybody else.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  15. “Don’t know whether to smile, spit, or swallow.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  16. “You ain’t alone. Everywhere you go, I’m with you. John too.” – Arletta, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  17. “You got a grudge against another man, you fight him Saturday afternoon. Any man playing grab-*ss or fighting in the building spends a night in the box.” – Carr, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  18. “Anything so innocent and built like that just gotta be named Lucille.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  19. “That’s my darling Luke. He grins like a baby but bites like a gator.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  20. “You tryin’ to say somethin’? You got a flappin’ mouth. One of these days, I’m gonna have to flap me up some dust with it.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  21. “When a man’s mother dies and, uh, he gets to thinking about her funeral and paying respects. Before he knows it, his mind ain’t right. He’s got rabbit in his blood and he runs.” – Captain, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  22. “I guess I just gotta, gotta love you and let go, hmm?” – Arletta, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  23. “No one’ll sit in the bunks with dirty pants on. Any man with dirty pants on sitting on the bunks spends a night in the box. Any man don’t bring back his empty pop bottle spends a night in the box. Any man loud talking spends a night in the box.” – Carr, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  24. “My boy says he can eat fifty eggs, he can eat fifty eggs.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  25. “That ditch is Boss Kean’s ditch. And I told him that dirt in it’s your dirt. What’s your dirt doin’ in his ditch?” – Boss Paul, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  26. “Move over. I’m gonna sit in here next to my boy – Cool Hand Luke.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  27. “Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. I don’t like it anymore than you men.” – Captain, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  28. “You never thought maybe that’s a heavy load?” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  29. “You better get in there and get it out, boy.” – Boss Paul, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  30. “Knock it off, Luke. You can’t talk about Him that way.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  31. “Nothin’! A handful of nothin’. You stupid mullet head, he beat you with nothin’, just like today when he kept comin’ back at me, with nothin’.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  32. “Boy, he can have this little life any time he wants to. Do ya hear that? Are ya hearin’ it? Come on. You’re welcome to it, ol’ timer. Let me know you’re up there. Come on. Love me, hate me, kill me, anything. Just let me know it.” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  33. “You run one time, you got yourself a set of chains. You run twice you got yourself two sets. You ain’t gonna need no third set, ’cause you gonna get your mind right. And I mean RIGHT. Take a good look at Luke.” – Captain, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  34. “A man’s gotta go his own way.” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  35. “There’s no playing grab-*ss or fighting in the building.” – Carr, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  36. “Are you still believin’ in that big bearded Boss up there? You think he’s watchin’ us?” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  37. “Yeah, well… sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand.” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  38. “I’m just standin’ in the rain talking’ to myself.” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  39. “Just nine more between you and everlastin’ glory…Just little ol’ eggs. They pigeon eggs, that’s all.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  40. “Well, I ain’t askin’ what ya gonna do when you get out because I’ll be dead and it don’t matter.” – Arletta, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  41. “There is no smoking in the prone position in bed. To smoke you must have both legs over the side of your bunk. Any man caught smoking in the prone position in bed… spends a night in the box.” – Carr, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  42. “Shut your mouth about my Lucille.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  43. “Why you got to go and say fifty eggs for? Why not thirty-five or thirty-nine?” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  44. “You’re gonna hafta kill me…” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  45. “When it comes to the law, nothin’ is understood…I’m his official egg-peeler. That’s the law!” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  46. “You gonna get used to wearin’ them chains afer a while, Luke. Don’t you never stop listenin’ to them clinking. ‘Cause they gonna remind you of what I been saying. For your own good.” – Captain, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  47. “You got questions, you come to me. I’m Carr, the floor walker. I’m responsible for order in here.” – Carr, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  48. “She ain’t got nothin’ but, nothin’ but one safety pin holdin’ that thing on. Come on safety pin, POP. Come on baby, POP.” – Gambler, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  49. “He was smiling… That’s right. You know, that, that Luke smile of his. He had it on his face right to the very end. Hell, if they didn’t know it ‘fore, they could tell right then that they weren’t a-gonna beat him. That old Luke smile.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  50. “You’re an original, that’s what you are. Them mullet-heads didn’t even know you was foolin’.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  51. “All right. Stand back you pedestrians, this ain’t no automobile accident.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  52. “Wish you’d stop bein’ so good to me, cap’n.” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  53. “No man can eat fifty eggs.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  54. “You know, them chains ain’t medals. You get ’em for making mistakes. And you make a bad enough mistake, and then you gotta deal with the Man [gestures to Boss Godfrey]. And he is one rough old boy.” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  55. “Oh, Luke. He was some boy. Cool Hand Luke. Hell, he’s a natural-born world-shaker.” – Dragline, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  56. “I know I’m a pretty evil fellow… killed people in the war and got drunk… and chewed up municipal property and the like. I know I got no call to ask for much… but even so, You’ve got to admit You ain’t dealt me no cards in a long time. It’s beginning to look like You got things fixed so I can’t never win out.” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  57. “Small town, not much to do in the evenin’.” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  58. “I hope you ain’t going to be a hard case.” – Carr, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  59. “Old Man, I gotta tell You. I started out pretty strong and fast. But it’s beginning to get to me. When does it end? What do You got in mind for me? What do I do now? Right. All right.” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
  60. “Don’t hit me anymore…Oh God, I pray to God you don’t hit me anymore. I’ll do anything you say, but I can’t take anymore.” – Luke, ‘Cool Hand Luke’
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Cool Hand Luke Video – “Failure to Communicate”

This is one of the most famous scenes in the movie. In this scene, Luke (played by Paul Newman) is returned to prison after his first prison escape attempt.

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The character Luke inspires many of the other characters in the movie and some critics even say he was a” Christ-like” figure because of the characters he inspired and how he sacrificed himself. This movie is a true classic that is watched by many people still today, reading some of these quotes might make you want to watch or rewatch this popular film.

Chances are, you have seen this movie with your grandparents, aunts, uncles or parents. Send one of these quotes to one of the family members that introduced you to ‘Cool Hand Luke’ and maybe schedule a family night to rewatch the timeless flick.

Also, if you liked these quotes be sure to see our quotes about cowboys!

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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