We got a couple men here doing 20 spots. We got one that's got all of it. We got all kinds, and you gonna fit in real good. Of course, unless you get rabbit in your blood and you decide to take off for home. You give the bonus system time and a set of leg chains to keep you slowed down just a little bit, for your own good. You'll learn the rules. Now, it's all up to you. Now I can be a good guy, or I can be one real mean son-of-a-bitch. It's all up to you.
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're gonna get your mind right. And I mean RIGHT. [To the other inmates] Take a good look at Luke. Cool Hand Luke?
Carr: Them clothes got laundry numbers on them. You remember your number and always wear the ones that has your number. Any man forgets his number spends a night in the box. These here spoons you keep with you. Any man loses his spoon spends a night in the box. There's no playing grab-ass or fighting in the building. You got a grudge against another man, you fight him Saturday afternoon. Any man playing grab-ass or fighting in the building spends a night in the box. First bell's at five minutes of eight when you will get in your bunk. Last bell is at eight. Any man not in his bunk at eight spends the night in the box. 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. You get two sheets. Every Saturday, you put the clean sheet on the top... the top sheet on the bottom... and the bottom sheet you turn in to the laundry boy. Any man turns in the wrong sheet spends a night in the box. 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. You got questions, you come to me. I'm Carr, the floor walker. I'm responsible for order in here. Any man don't keep order spends a night in...
Luke: ...the box.
Carr: I hope you ain't going to be a hard case.
[Luke smiles and shakes his head]
Dragline: He ain't in the box because of the joke played on him. He back-sassed a free man. They got their rules. We ain't got nothin' 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.
Luke: Yeah, them poor old Bosses need all the help they can get.
Dragline: 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.
Convict: [about the woman washing a car nearby] Oh man, oh man, I'm dyin'.
Gambler: She ain't got nothin' but, nothin' but one safety pin holdin' that thing on. Come on safety pin, POP. Come on baby, POP.
Dragline: Hey Lord, whatever I done, don't strike me blind for another couple of minutes. My Lucille!...That's Lucille, you mother-head. Anything so innocent and built like that just gotta be named Lucille.
Convict: She don't know what she's doin'.
Luke: Oh boy, she knows exactly what she's doin'. She's drivin' us crazy and lovin' every minute of it.
Dragline: Shut your mouth about my Lucille.
Dragline: [After Luke wins a poker game by bluffing] 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'.
Luke: Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
Dragline: Move over. I'm gonna sit in here next to my boy - Cool Hand Luke.
John, Jr.: Why can't you have chains?
Luke: John-boy, lemme tell you something. 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.
Dragline: Where'd the road go?
Luke: That's it. That's the end of it.
Convict: Man, there's still daylight.
Dragline: About two hours left.
Convict: What do we do now?
Dragline: Oh Luke, you wild, beautiful thing. You crazy handful of nothin'.
Luke: [about God and the thunder] Let him go. Bam, Bam.
Dragline: Knock it off, Luke. You can't talk about Him that way.
Luke: Are you still believin' in that big bearded Boss up there? You think he's watchin' us?
Dragline: Get in here. Ain't ya scared? Ain't ya scared of dyin'?
Luke: Dyin'? 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.
[He looks around]
Luke: I'm just standin' in the rain talkin' to myself.
Boss Kean: [putting Luke in the box when he learns that his mother has died] Sorry, Luke. Just doin' my job. You gotta appreciate that.
Luke: Aw, callin' it your job don't make it right, boss.
Captain: You're gonna get used to wearin' them chains after a while, Luke, but you never stop listenin' to them clinkin'. 'Cause they're gonna remind you of what I've been sayin' - for your own good.
Luke: Wish you'd stop bein' so good to me, Cap'n.
Captain: [lashing out with his stick] Don't you ever talk that way to me. Never! Never! What we've got here is failure to communicate. 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 any more than you men.
Luke: 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.
Boss Paul: You got your mind right, Luke?
Luke: Yeah. I got it right. I got it right, boss. [He grips the ankles of the guard]
Boss Paul: Suppose you's back-slide on us?
Luke: Oh no I won't. I won't, boss.
Boss Paul: Suppose you's to back-sass?
Luke: No I won't. I won't. I got my mind right.
Boss Paul: You try to run again, we gonna kill ya.
Luke: I won't, I won't, boss.
Dragline: "Don't hit me, Boss. Don't hit me. I'll do whatever you say. Only don't hit me." You're an original, that's what you are. Them mullet-heads didn't even know you was foolin'.
Luke: Foolin' 'em, huh? You can't fool 'em about somethin' like that. They broke me. But they didn't get my mind right. Not with no stick, no, sir.
Dragline: Aw. All that time, you was plannin' on runnin' again.
Luke: I never planned anything in my life.
Luke: Anybody here? Hey, Old Man. You home tonight? Can You spare a minute. It's about time we had a little talk. 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. Inside, outside, all of them... rules and regulations and bosses. You made me like I am. Now just where am I supposed to fit in? 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. [Gets on knees, closes eyes and begins to pray] On my knees, asking. [pause] Yeah, that's what I thought. I guess I'm pretty tough to deal with, huh? A hard case. Yeah. I guess I gotta find my own way.
[Police cars arrive]
Luke: [Shakes head and smiles] Is that Your answer, Old Man? I guess You're a hard case, too.
Dragline: Luke? You all right? They got us, boy. They're out there, thicker than flies. Bosses, dogs, sheriffs, more guns than I've ever seen in my life. You ain't got a chance. They caught up with me right after we split up. And they was aimin' to kill ya. But I fixed it. I got 'em to promise if you give up peaceful, they won't whip ya this time...Luke, you gotta listen to me. All ya got to do is give up nice and quiet. Just play cool.
Luke: [standing before an open window] What we've got here is a failure to communicate.
[Luke is shot in the throat]
Dragline: They took him right down that road.
Convicts: What'd he look like, Drag?...Yeah, what'd he look like?..He had his eyes opened or closed, Drag?
Dragline: 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. Old Luke, he was some boy. Cool Hand Luke. Hell, he's a natural-born world-shaker.