The Movie: Cool Hand Luke, 1967 (Donn Pearce, screenwriter, from his novel; Stuart Rosenberg, dir.)
Who says it: Paul Newman as Luke, a hardened criminal and prison escapee
The context: Luke has just won a poker game on a bluff.
How to use it: When you’re surfing the universe unprepared.
In the movie Serendipity, Kate Beckinsale's character asks John Cusack's character what his favorite movie is, and he says, "The correct answer is Cool Hand Luke." This is one of those movies, like Deliverance, that speaks to something deep within the Y chromosome; I admit I don't get it. Plus, the scene with the hard-boiled eggs makes me want to hurl.
Nevertheless, this is an excellent line. I live a shockingly irresponsible life for someone my age; I am always surfing the universe unprepared, and this year in particular that has taxed my friends and family -- which I apologize for, and appreciate more than words can express. But things seem to be -- I want to whisper this -- falling back into place, and I feel a dangerous sense of optimism as we approach the new year.
Happy birthday to my dear friend Deidre Sullivan -- author, screenwriter, performance artist and personal guru. The only reason she's not running the world is because she doesn't want to.