6.8/10
1,170
27 user 10 critic

The Rack (1956)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 2 November 1956 (USA)
A decorated Korean War hero inexplicably collaborates with the enemy while interred in a POW camp and is court-martialed.

Director:

Arnold Laven

Writers:

Stewart Stern (screen play), Rod Serling (teleplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Newman ... Capt. Edward W. Hall, Jr.
Wendell Corey ... Maj. Sam Moulton
Walter Pidgeon ... Col. Edward W. Hall, Sr.
Edmond O'Brien ... Lt. Col. Frank Wasnick
Anne Francis ... Aggie Hall
Lee Marvin ... Capt. John R. Miller
Cloris Leachman ... Caroline
Robert Burton ... Col. Ira Hansen
Robert F. Simon ... Law Officer (as Robert Simon)
Trevor Bardette ... Court President
Adam Williams ... Sgt. Otto Pahnke
James Best ... Millard Chilson Cassidy
Fay Roope 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:

Paul Newman, a wonderful new star! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original teleplay writer, Rod Serling, liked the film adaptation. But he felt the film version could and should have shown some of the actual POW camp in flashbacks. He did however feel that the scene with the father and son alone was better written in the film version than in his original teleplay. 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: Well, what are we going to do about you? We've got about two weeks to prepare.
Capt. Edward W. Hall Jr.: [Shrugging] I don't know.
Lt. Col. Frank Wasnick: [laughs] That's an interesting attitude.
Capt. Edward W. Hall Jr.: Oh, look, Colonel, uh, what axe are you grinding, or do you just have a penchant for lost causes?
Lt. Col. Frank Wasnick: I don't admire self-pity. I don't think it's constructive.
Capt. Edward W. Hall Jr.: Haven't you heard? I'm guilty.
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Alternate Versions

Exists in a computer-colorized version. See more »

Connections

References The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
A great film lies hidden here
22 July 2004 | by mik-19See all my reviews

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 November 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rack See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$779,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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