“Some men you just can’t reach.”
That’s the sentence which follows right after the film’s most-famous line, as sneering prison warden Strother Martin complains about a failure to communicate.
No matter how many beatings, or how many “man-to-man talks” the warden has with Luke, the good ol’ boy convict played by Paul Newman, the duo are never going to come to an understanding.
Both men know it, and their feud simmers under the blazing heat, as one man refuses to be broken, and another refuses to stop trying.
You might break Luke’s body, but you’ll never touch his soul.