The Rack (1956)
Rod Taylor is the uncredited, off-screen voice of Al, a bellowing husband in
a scene from this Korean War-era courtroom drama.
Paul Newman plays Edward W. Hall Jr., an Army captain who is
returning home after two years in a Korean prisoner of war camp. His
brother, Pete, died in the war.
Thus, his return is bittersweet for his father, retired Army
colonel Edward W. Hall Sr. (Walter Pidgeon), and Pete's widow, Aggie
In one poignant scene, Aggie goes next door to confide in her
friend, Caroline (Cloris Leachman), about her inner turmoil. Aggie
is happy that her brother-in-law is back, but she misses Pete
terribly. The women try to have a heart-to-heart conversation, but
they get constant interruption from Caroline's husband, Al, from
within the house. That's Rod.
The part wasn't something that was memorable to Rod. He's been
asked about appearing in "The Rack" with Paul Newman, but he says
that's "a misprint." To be fair, he doesn't really "appear" with
Newman. Rod's biographer, Stephen Vagg, guessed that the studio
asked him to record some lines and he did, as a favor to the studio.
He probably didn't even know what project it was for.
Paul Newman filmed "The Rack" before his breakout role as boxer
Rocky Graziano in "Somebody Up There Likes Me." MGM held off on
releasing "The Rack" because there was so much buzz about the
performance he was giving during the filming of "Somebody" and they
wanted "The Rack" to ride its success.
Of course, Rod Taylor fans know the story that Rod also
auditioned for "Somebody Up There Likes Me." Although he didn't get
the role, he did get a contract with MGM. And that would have meant
he was around the studio to record the lines for "The Rack."
Excellent analysis from
The War Movie Buff
DVD on Amazon
Listen to Rod
in a scene from "The Rack" (.mp3 file)
You can view the
TV version of "The
Rack," courtesy of the UCLA Film & TV Archive. Rod Serling wrote the teleplay
for this broadcast, which aired as an episode of "The United States Steel Hour"
on April 12, 1955. In the TV version, Wendell Corey had role of the returning
POW. In the movie version, he played the prosecutor, Major Moulton.