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During the Korean War Sergeant Paul Ryker is accused of defecting to Communist China and then returning to his unit as a spy.He's court-martialed and sentenced to death but his attorney believes Ryker's innocent and asks for a new trial.
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
There lies a great film hidden in the depths of 'The Rack', one that honestly and unflinchingly dares pronounce its indictment of the American way of life, of a people uninformed about the democratic traditions of their country as well as of the exact nature of Communism.
But 'The Rack' is not quite that film, although in long stretches it is pretty good. Paul Newman in his second starring role plays Captain Ed Hall, being court martialed for betraying his country when he was a prisoner of war in Korea by collaborating with his captors. It turns out he was mentally tortured, brainwashed as it were, and there is an emotional forthrightness of the scenes concerning the captain's breakdown that are engaging, and the central between Newman and Walter Pidgeon as his staunch colonel father will draw tears, although Newman is not yet the acute and instinctively brilliant actor he would become.
So, see it by all means next time it is aired on TCM, it's not half bad. Only, it ought to have been better.
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