In Cool Hand Luke, Luke has just won a game of poker on a bluff. One of the players tells the beaten man: "You stupid mullet head, he beat you with nothin.'"
And Luke says: "Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand."
In Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, we find out why Brick's dad is obsessed with acquiring wealth and building a dynasty. Father and son have been quarreling over philosophical differences throughout the movie:
Harvey "Big Daddy" Pollitt: He [Harvey's dad] was a hobo, the best-known tramp on the boxcar circuit. He'd worked once in awhile as a field hand, and I'd tag along. Sat on my bare bottom in the dirt, waiting for him. Outside of hunger, the first thing I remember is shame. I was ashamed of that miserable old tramp. I was riding boxcars with him when I was nine, something you never had to do. You'll never have to bury me the way I buried him. I buried him in a meadow alongside a railroad track. He was running to catch a freight and his heart give out. You know something? That old tramp died laughing.
Brick Pollitt: Laughing at what?
Harvey "Big Daddy" Pollitt: Himself, I guess. Old hobo tramp, not a nickel to his name, no future, no past.
Brick Pollitt: Maybe he was laughing because he was happy. Happy at having you with him. He took you everywhere. He kept you with him.
Harvey "Big Daddy" Pollitt: I don't want to talk about that.
Harvey "Big Daddy" Pollitt: Yeah, I loved him. I reckon I never loved anything as much as that lousy old tramp.
Brick Pollitt: And you say he left you nothing but a suitcase with a uniform in it?
Harvey "Big Daddy" Pollitt: And some memories.
Brick Pollitt: And love.
Nothin' in your hand, memories and love. The rest is worries.