Classics and Other Favorites
In the personal view of your Web hostess (see about me at right), here
are what I consider the Best, Don't-Miss essentials in the Rod Taylor
I'll start with two enduring classics, hailed by critics and beloved
"The Time Machine"
was the first Rod Taylor film I ever saw. I was about 12 and it was on
the black & white TV in my room. At the time, I had no idea who Rod Taylor was,
but the film and his character captured my imagination. Now, I can watch
the movie in brilliant color on DVD. I'm still quite dismayed that George
doesn't ... quite ... kiss Weena. But I know exactly who Rod Taylor is
and understand the power of his performance -- how he makes us believe
in time travel and that he could make the future a better place.
I've seen "The Birds"
dozens of times. When I was a teen-ager, I thought the movie was
all about figuring out why the birds were attacking. In a college
film class, my classmates and I analyzed its point-of-view shots and
composition. I've read multitude of books and reviews that focus on Hitchcock and Hedren.
But at the heart of it all is stalwart Rod Taylor, upon whom all the relationships
THREE BY CARDIFF
Director Jack Cardiff presents three very different movies with three
very different lead characters for Rod -- proof of the actor's range.
-- with Rod as sweet, sly, sexy Boysie Oakes -- delights me the most. As
a reluctant assassin and determined playboy in this spy spoof, Taylor displays
the perfect mix of buffoonery and bravery.
is a personal story in a historical setting, and its power grows as the
story becomes more personal and less about history. A movie of epic mood swings,
its intensity grabs me in the second half, with Cassidy's despair at the
death of his mother, the love he finds with Nora and his development as
"Dark of the Sun"
is a gritty, violent film, and Rod's Capt. Curry struggles to find a moral
center amid the brutality. In a career with action films a-plenty, this
is the cream of the crop.
A ROMANTIC PAIR
Here are a couple of films I love cozying up to. Out-dated? No way. They're
charming, clever, funny and laden with talent.
"Sunday in New York"
features the marvelous match-up of Rod Taylor and Jane Fonda, plus hilarious
mix-ups that keep getting in the way of romance.
"The Glass Bottom Boat,"
which pairs Rod with Doris Day, has some genuinely laugh-out-loud scenes --
not to mention his breathtaking opening sequence aboard a fishing boat.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
In these two imaginative films, Taylor has a supporting role but is solidly
at the center of the story:
In "Fate is the Hunter,"
Glenn Ford tackles the puzzling cause of a plane crash and the mysteries
of Rod's character, pilot Jack Savage.
In "36 Hours," James
Garner has the lead role, but Rod has a dual one -- playing an idealistic
German doctor who's pretending to be a charming American doctor.
A FINE ENSEMBLE
Two of Taylor's best movies feature star-studded ensemble casts:
"Hotel" has Rod in
the middle of a swirl of story lines. General manager Peter McDermott is
in-charge, old-fashioned, forward-thinking, hard-working, impeccably dressed
and able to leap into elevator shafts to rescue his guests. Above all,
"Hotel" is pure entertainment.
"The VIPs," released
in 1963, boosted Rod's stature as an international star (even though his
screen time is much too short).
A GREAT UNKNOWN
I grow more fond of "The Hell
With Heroes" with every viewing. There's a lot to like about this
hard-to-find flick. It features a strong cast, intriguing relationships,
exotic locales and Rod in fine form as a devil-may-care, post-WWII pilot.
"Welcome to Woop Woop,"
released in 1998, has been reviewed as either vile or hilarious. I found
that it's vile AND hilarious. Not to mention absurd, vulgar and a total
hoot. This film is a real test for fans who prefer their Rod Taylor young,
gorgeous and sophisticated. He's no matinee idol in this film -- he's simply
a great actor who looks like he's having a grand time.
SMALL SCREEN, BIG TALENT
With a nod to "Bearcats!" and that
show's sense of humor and adventure, here are my two favorite TV outings
by Rod Taylor:
"Hong Kong." This
stylish series had it all -- except a good time slot.
"Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy."
Not expecting much from this 1981 bio-pic, I was electrified by Rod's scene-stealing
Web creator Diane Tomasik
with Rod Taylor in 2005.
WHO MADE THIS SITE?
Back around the year 2000, when a repeated viewing of "The Birds" sent me
searching the World Wide Web
for details about its handsome and talented leading man, I was
I found a long list of films, some scattered biographical information,
a few photos. But there was no central source with the all the information about
Rod Taylor that I sought.
My professional background prepped me well:
I've been a communications director for nonprofit agencies, and an
editor and webmaster at news organizations.
Armed with writing, researching, graphics and
web-building skills, I set about creating this website.
I combed the websites and newspaper archives, collected old magazines
and movie stills, and viewed as many of Rod's
movies and TV shows as possible.
In January 2001, I started this little corner
of cyberspace to share with fellow fans and it has grown steadily ever since.
I hope this site draws attention to an actor who so richly deserves greater
So, who am I?
My name is Diane Tomasik. I'm 57, married,
retired, and live on the east coast of Florida. I'm a sports nut, a
movie fan, love reading, traveling and being outdoors.
One more thing: I was lucky enough to meet Rod in October
2005! The photographic evidence tops this column.
Here's a list of the Rod Taylor items I haven't
been able to acquire. Some I have viewed at the Paley Center or
UCLA, but I'd love to have my own copy. Can anyone help
fill in these gaps?
Please e-mail me at
Lux Video Theater - The Browning Version,
Dark Tribute (1955)
Studio 57 - Three
General Electric Theater
- The Young Years (1957), Early to Die (1960)
- Five episodes
Studio One - Image
of Fear (1958)
Bus Stop - Portrait
of a Hero(1961)
Dupont Show of the Week - The
Ordeal of Dr. Shannon (1962)
20th Golden Globe
Spectacular - Tennis at Dean Martin's (1964)
Dee Time (1968,
Conversations with the Stars, KMTV, Omaha, 1977
US Against the World (1977)
The Late Late
Show (1979, Ireland)
24th TV Week Logie
Awards (1982, Australia)
The Late Show
Starring Joan Rivers (1986)
CBS Morning News (1987)
Gottschalk Late Night (1994,