WB 100 Brings a Wave of Wonderful Physical Media
In celebration of 100 years, one of the world’s oldest and most famous film studios is bringing a large collection of its iconic catalog into the modern age with beautiful 4K restorations, new cover art, and expansive bonus content. Timeless films deserve timeless and definitive editions, and while some may still believe physical media is dying out, it’s nice to see a studio that has faith in its catalog and has invested in the future of at-home entertainment.
With such a massive catalog, there are so many films that deserve a spot in this collection including three films that put a spotlight on the most essential leading men of the mid-20th century. Films like The Maltese Falcon, Rebel Without a Cause, and Cool Hand Luke arrive in dazzling new editions, revitalizing some of the biggest movie stars of all time in some of their best performances. The legendary Humphrey Bogart as gritty private detective, Sam Spade, the iconic James Dean as the misunderstood bad boy, Jim Stark, and the deeply charismatic Paul Newman in his timeless prison film as the titular Cool Hand Luke.
Newman, who stands as one of the biggest movie stars of all time, made his career out of endless charm as well as some serious acting chops. In this film, Newman digs deep into his well of charisma to turn in a timeless performance as the endearing prisoner, Cool Hand Luke, a man with seemingly nothing left to live for who gets locked up after a night of destroying parking meters. After his spell of vandalism, Luke finds himself locked up in a Florida men’s prison for a two-year stint on a chain gang. At first, Luke naturally isn’t thrilled to be there, but soon enough Luke becomes a leader of this group of downtrodden inmates through a healthy dose of rebellion, both palpable and spiritual. Luke becomes someone for them to rally around and a symbol of their last remaining slivers of hope. Watching Luke rally these men is quite thrilling and definitely makes prison look way friendlier than it is, but the most compelling part of this film is watching Luke rile against the harsh and unrelenting figures of authority. By keeping these figures faceless, they represent the larger system in play and the overall attitude of those who work in incarceration. 70 years later, this film remains a powerful testament to the harshness of our prisons and what it means to find yourself in the wake of some pretty dire circumstances. Cool Hand Luke exists as a truly fun movie about men finding hope in a hopeless place, but it cements itself in time as something much greater: A firm statement against the general attitude towards those who are imprisoned.
Cool Hand Luke as well as many other remastered films are available now as part of Warner Bros.’s 100-year celebration wherever movies are sold.