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The Rack (1956)

Passed  -  Drama | War  -  2 November 1956 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 723 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 7 critic

A decorated Korean War hero inexplicably collaborates with the enemy while interred in a POW camp and is court-martialed.

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Title: The Rack (1956)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Capt. Edward W. Hall, Jr.
...
Maj. Sam Moulton
...
Col. Edward W. Hall, Sr.
...
Lt. Col. Frank Wasnick
...
Aggie Hall
...
Capt. John R. Miller
...
Caroline
Robert Burton ...
Col. Ira Hansen
Robert F. Simon ...
Law Officer (as Robert Simon)
Trevor Bardette ...
Court President
...
Sgt. Otto Pahnke
...
Millard Chilson Cassidy
Fay Roope ...
Col. Dudley Smith
Barry Atwater ...
Maj. Byron Phillips
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Storyline

Captain Edward Hall returns to the USA after two years in a prison camp in the Korean war. In the camp he was brainwashed and helped the Chinese convince the other prisoners that they were fighting an unjust war. When he comes back he is charged for collaboration with the enemy. Where does loyalty end in a prison camp, when the camp is a living hell? Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

NOTHING LIKE IT SINCE "THE CAINE MUTINY"! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 November 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Anklage: Hochverrat  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With "The Rack" Pidgeon ended a nineteen year association with MGM that had begun in 1937 with "Saratoga," ironically Jean Harlow's last film. See more »

Goofs

In the closing scene inside the courtroom, Capt. Miller (Lee Marvin) conspicuously comes in and sits down in a chair right next to the door, against the back wall. We see him there in a couple of close-up shots, but in several wide camera shots taken from the front of the courtroom, he is nowhere to be seen. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Col. Frank Wasnick: [Addressing the jury, presenting the closing arguments for Capt. Hall's defense] Gentlemen, I have here a document which is not very pleasant to read. It's a communiqué written by the Communists describing shortcomings they observed among certain American prisoners of war.
Lt. Col. Frank Wasnick: [Quoting from the document] "One: Many of the prisoners reveal weak loyalties to their families, their communities, and their army. Two: When left alone, they tend to feel deserted, and they underestimate their ability to ...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

The Last Time I Saw Paris
(uncredited)
Music by Jerome Kern
Hummed by Walter Pidgeon
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User Reviews

 
Underrated gem
8 April 2009 | by (Oslo, Norway) – See all my reviews

Paul Newman's second film (but released after "Somebody Up There Likes Me") demonstrates that, even then, he was the truly finest screen performer around. But the very nature of his style has always placed him behind –or to the side of– more "bravura" actors of the time. Unlike Brando and Clift and Dean- he is much less self-centered; in other words he is a sharing actor. This puts the SCENE in focus more than the performance, and in this extremely underrated (and almost forgotten) courtroom drama you have one of the best scenes I have ever come across - a simple dialogue between Newman and his father, played by Walter Pidgeon (who gives one of HIS best performances here). The short scene takes place towards the end of the film and is pivotal to the story. It is a miniature master-class in technique, communication (or lack of it) and truth. There are clear parallels to "East of Eden" but somehow the shading here is less stark, which makes the confrontation so much more -real. Courtroom dramas, especially American ones, almost always work as on screen. The inbuilt tension and clear pattern of procedure, with gradual unraveling of facts and insights, is compelling, no matter what the case or period. This one is no exception. There are many cadences and moral issues are raised that one sometimes wishes could have gone even further. Otherwise the screenplay (based on a tele-play) is taut, careful and intriguing. So are the characters: Wendell Corey and Edmond O Brien as defense and prosecuting counsel respectively are particularly noteworthy, and utterly believable in parts that could easily have been stereotypes. If one must criticize, I would have to say that the first part of the film, before the court case begins, could have been curtailed slightly. Not because it is in any way uninteresting, but because it seems somehow rather unnecessary -as if just placed in to flesh out the film. But this is a minor criticism of a film that really deserves to be better known.


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