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Pulling No Punches (2016)

Rod Taylor is very much himself in this lively, loving documentary.

Its world premiere date was Feb. 11, 2016, on Foxtel Arts in Australia. It had its U.S. premiere April 27, 2017, at the Beverly Hills Film Festival.

The film won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the festival, which ran April 26-30, 2017, at the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters on Hollywood Boulevard -- the famous Grauman's Chinese movie palace.

The 80-minute film is directed by Robert de Young and co-produced by Stephan Wellink.

Wellink said that he conceived the idea for the documentary some five years ago. Interviews with Rod were conducted in late 2012, and the team has continued to push forward with development.

Mark Hartley, whose credits include "Not Quite Hollywood," originally was slated to be the director of the film and participated in interviews with Rod. These interviews can be previewed in a trailer on Robert de Young's Vimeo page for projects in development for Lowlands Media.  An official trailer for the film is available at the distributor's website, Beyond Productions.

Upon viewing the full documentary, I was charmed, amused, energized and mightily entertained. I was also stunned at the multitude of new-to-me photos that were included in the film.

The film is edited magnificently, with a great flow and terrific insights.

The people who are interviewed capture Rodís essence perfectly. Among the interviewees are co-stars such as Veronica Cartwright, Tippi Hedren, Angela Lansbury and Maggie Smith; Susie Porter; biographer Stephen Vagg; longtime business manager Murray Neidorf; and Nicholas Eddy, attorney and family friend.

Australian director Baz Luhrmann and Aussie actors Bryan Brown and Jack Thompson also add insights.

A particularly special segment features Rodís artwork -- paintings, sketches and pottery. What a talent he was in so many ways.

The interviews with Rod and others illuminate the documentary's theme of his role in solidifying the Australian male identity in Hollywood.

"Rod set the mold for the Australian onscreen tough guy/charming leading man and paved the way for the likes of Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman and others to follow,Ē de Young said in an interview published by SBS on Jan. 13, 2015.

In the SBS article, Wellink said he wanted to celebrate Rod Taylor "because he was a great actor who deserved to receive greater recognition for his achievements, particularly in his homeland, Australia."

"My fondest memory of working with Rod for the documentary was the experience of bringing his co-star from 'The Birds,' Tippi Hedren, to his house for the interview," Wellink said. "Tippi and Rod hadn't seen each other for about 20 years and it was a great privilege to be able to bring these two stars together to talk about working with Hitchcock. They loved catching up and sharing a laugh about their early days in Hollywood."

In an e-mail to this website on Jan. 9, 2015, Wellink said: "It is such a shame that Rod will not see our homage to him."

Stephan Wellink with Rod in 2012.

Thanks for the Special Thanks -- Diane Tomasik, webmaster



Beverly Hills Film Festival
2017 winners

Producer Stephan Wellink with the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Beverly Hills Film Festival.



Beyond: Distributor's page about the movie, including trailer and brochure.


News announcing documentary (SBS article)

Lowands Media trailers page

TV Tonight: Announcing the premiere airdate in Australia.

Screen Australia page

ATOM study guide