What we've got here is failure to communicate
|"What we've got here is failure to communicate"|
|First used in||Cool Hand Luke|
|Voted No. 11 in AFI's 100 Movie Quotes poll|
The phrase "What we've got here is failure to communicate" is a quotation from the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, spoken at different points in the movie first by Strother Martin (as the Captain, a prison warden) and later (see below) Paul Newman (as Luke, a young prisoner).
The context of the delivery of the line is:
Captain: You gonna get used to wearing them chains after a while, Luke. Don't you never stop listening to them clinking, 'cause they gonna remind you what I been saying for your own good.
Luke: I wish you'd stop being so good to me, Cap'n.
Captain: Don't you ever talk that way to me. (pause, then hitting him) NEVER! NEVER! (Luke rolls down hill; to other prisoners) What we've got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. I don't like it any more than you men.
The Captain's line is often misquoted as What we have here is a failure to communicate (although that is more grammatically correct in the United States)
It is often overlooked, however, that near the end of the film, when Luke is surrounded in the church and just before he is shot, he says, "What we have here is a failure to communicate."
References in popular culture
- Guns N' Roses included the quotation, sampled from Martin's speech in the film, in the opening of their song "Civil War" (1990), and later remixed it in "Madagascar" (2008).
- The quote has been used in the movies Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Ernest Saves Christmas (1988), Waterworld (1995, spoken by Dennis Hopper, who has a small role in Cool Hand Luke), Major Payne (1995), "Arena", Halloween (2007), Whole Lotta Sole (aka Stand Off) (2012), and on TV shows Cracker, Californication, CSI, NCIS, Kyle XY, Xena, Parenthood, Darkwing Duck and Farscape.
- Greatest Film Mis-Quotes, AMC Filmsite
- "Frankly, My Dear, I Don't Give A Damn", AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes, American Film Institute.
- Pop Culture 101: COOL HAND LUKE. Turner Entertainment Networks
- Dennis O'Dell (2008-11-14) Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy Review. BBC
- Bond, Callan (February 8, 2006). "Questions and Answers". Cool Movie Trivia.