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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 (Anne Francis).

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."




IMDb // Wikipedia

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.