In Praise of Boss Godfrey


A few days ago I had a dream that puzzled me.  I dreamed that I was watching the old 60’s chestnut, Cool Hand Luke.  You remember, the movie where Paul Newman plays a worthless loser who ends up on a chain gang and gets killed in the end.  It’s a real waste of film, except for one character. I watched the movie again and realized why I was supposed to watch it.

Boss Godfrey.  The man with no eyes.  Forget Darth Vader.  Forget the Emperor.  You want someone to be, be him.

Played by the great character actor, Morgan Woodward, he did not have a single line in the movie but he spoke more than all the others combined.  We first see him on Luke’s first day on the road gang, as he shoots down a bird.  Luke says, “I think he just said something.”He did, and Luke would have done well to listen to what he said for Boss Godfrey is truly Cosimanian Orthodox.If the eyes are the window to the soul, he has no eyes.  His mirrorshades close that window and it is well that they do.  No one wants to look into his soul for fear of what they would find.  He is a man who needs no words.  He speaks through his actions.  He is a man without introspection and without remorse or guilt.  His task is to control the lesser men placed in his charge and he does it through the only method that works–fear.  His silence speaks for him.  He does not need words.  He has his rifle which ends all argument.

He is a true ruler of men and when the time comes, he is true Menschenjaeger, the hunter of men.

He is what we should all wish to be.




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