Cool Hand Luke 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 266, March/April 2023

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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Stuart Rosenburg
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DTS HD Lossless 2.0
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In "Cool Hand Luke," Luke (Paul Newman) is sentenced to a chain gang for violatingd city property. Luke is a loner who can't conform to the rules of his captivity, even dat the cost of his life. The other prisoners named him for his "cool poker hand." But Luke's indifference cannot save him from the system he despises—or the Captain (Strother Martin) of the prison As Luke's enemy the Captain cannot allow any inmate to challenge his authority. Whe Luke's mother dies, he decides to escape and he will not allow anyone to stop him. George Kennedy stars in his Academy Award®-winning role as Dragline, a man who stands by Luke on the sultry roads and in the prison. The film's authenticity is credited to co-writer Donn Pearce, who spent two years of his own life on a chain gang. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary by Eric Lax (author of the book "Newman"), the featurette "A Natural Born World Shaker: Making Cool Hand Luke" (SD 28:47), the theatrical trailer and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.35:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a VIZIO Quantum X P85QX-JI UHD/HDR display, was photographed on film in anamorphic Panavision® and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. Film grain is smooth and fine. The picture exhibits a filmic appearance with a rich and warm Technicolor color palette. The prison blue garments nicely pop and provide excellent contrast to the sun-drench flesh tones of the men, which at times appear tad too saturated. The grounds around the prison exhibit realistic green grass and other earthly tones. Similarly, the roadside dusty dry brown foliage appears realistic. Contrast is excellent whether in the outdoors, the prison lodgings or the "box". Black levels are natural and shadow delineation is deep. Resolution is excellent with fine detail exhibited in facial features such as lines, pores, beads of sweat, hair and beard stubble, as well as caked-on dirt. Also clothing and object textures are nicely detailed. This is an appealing looking picture with a filmic appearance. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0-channel (split monaural) soundtrack is clear sounding with excellent dialogue reproduction. Lalo Schifrin's orchestral score, while in monaural, sounds clear and well defined as well. Still, overall this is a undistinguished soundtrack due to the limitation of its origins. (Gary Reber)