Cool Hand Luke Character’s Analysis Essay
Using one or more of the “Required Viewing” films from the 1960s through the 2000s,
choose an actor or actress with a major role (from each film if using more than one film)
and address his, her, or their use of specific skills of the craft of Acting. Define and discuss
the actor’s (or actors’) use of at least four (4) of the following acting skills/tools addressed
in the Lectures and in the second half of FLIXACTING:
Ongoing Physical Life/Secondary Activity
Sending and Receiving
ALSO – define and discuss the actor’s (or actors’) use of at least one (1) of the following
Character Private Moment
Arc of a Scene
Painting a Picture with Words
REMEMBER – THE SKILLS YOU CHOOSE MUST BE DIFFERENT FROM THE ONES YOU
DEFINED AND DISCUSSED IN YOUR MIDTERM.
The Required Viewing Films are:
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
The Color Purple (1985)
Dances with Wolves (1996)
20th Century Women (2016)
When writing your papers, choose specific scenes (or portions of scenes) from the film or
films you have chosen that you believe best illustrate the particular acting skill that you are
discussing, and parse the scene as it relates to the actor’s use of that skill. DO NOT make
sweeping statements about the actor’s use of the skill throughout the entire movie. Be
specific, not general.
In addition, you may address the specific political, sociological and/or economic issues of
a particular decade in light of how you believe they may have influenced the actor’s (or
actors’) choices in the film(s). Be specific and thorough in your observations, opinions and
arguments. (Do not include long sections devoted to plot details in your paper. The
Teaching Assistants and the Instructor have seen these films – more than once! Instead, get
directly to the specifics of your arguments).
You must amply and specifically reference examples of acting technique covered in the
lectures, as well as FLIXACTING to support your arguments. (Quote your sources
explicitly, rather than making vague references to an entire chapter or lecture).
All papers must be submitted in MLA Style format. Use a reasonably sized 12-point font,
such as Times New Roman. Your paper must be between five (5) and seven (7) pages in
length (approximately 250 words per page as a rule of thumb), double-spaced, with 1”
margins. Your Works Cited page will not count for or against the length of your paper.
Properly cite all sources.
Remember — You must copiously cite appropriate and specific portions of both the
lectures and required reading to support the arguments in your papers Failure to do so
will significantly lower your grade. You may also cite the recommended reading (Acting
in Film by Michael Caine) for extra credit.