- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- Laurie Brown
The Korean war is not one of the celebrated wars and, outside of "M.A.S.H.", is remembered even less in cinema. Movies dealing with brain washing and enemy psychological torture are even a rarer commodity. I've read that American soldiers cracked under interrogation in greater numbers than allied soldiers which caused much soul searching in the military and with the public at large. This may explain why movies like "The Manchurian Candidate" never gained any traction at the time of release, it just left a bad taste. Having said that, this movie was rather daring in it's frank exploration of those themes when the wounds from that war were so fresh, and considering it's relentlessly downbeat tone and bleak ending. Despite it's bravado, it was just okay as a movie. It was based on a Rod Serling teleplay, and even though this screenplay was written by Stewart Stern, it has all the hallmarks of a Serling script, it's a bit preachy and heavy handed but displays sincere social conscience. Paul Newman is a bit unpolished in a very early starring role, but nevertheless, turns in a compelling performance. I'm not all that familiar with Ann Francis but was impressed with her as Newman's sister in law. Walter Pidgeon was also good as Newman's father. Lee Marvin shows up in a minor role but is not yet the riveting actor he would one day become. A good enough movie but probably more interesting as a historical curiosity, than it is as a courtroom drama. Three stars.
The Rack for the Soul
The author of this movie's storyline is to be commended for not depriving any character (as well as the American Nation itself) of his responsibility as absolute man knowing who & what he is about which forfeiture promises individual & collective insanity such as is today's status quo!
Pan and Scan
- Dave Tupper
This is less of a review and more of a comment, but I hope it does not get deleted. I have recorded many TCM broadcasts over recent years and have noticed a disappointing trend: Broadcasts on TCM of movies that have been altered to cut off a huge amount at the top and bottom of the original to fit the current 16:9 aspect ratio of American TVs, what I call Vertical Pan & Scan. This is true of this movie. I compared an older recording I made (Aug 2014) which had an aspect ration of 4:3 and noticed it was missing a huge amount on the left and right compared to this broadcast (3 Nov 2016), but had just as huge an amount missing from the top and bottom, probably a larger percentage than that missing from the earlier broadcast, since the top and bottom are wider strips! I wish that TCM could find or create a print to broadcast the whole movie, especially since this was an MGM movie, presumably one that TCM owns and can control it's editing.I have noticed that they no longer broadcast the Scorsese (and others) promo clip speaking about and powerfully demoing the crime of pan and scan, probably because a larger and larger amount TCM broadcasts are guilty of just such practices in showing movies now cut to fit the new TV screens. It is especially egregious with movies originally made with an aspect ratio of 1.37, such as Thunder Road. The version shown in recent years cuts at least 1/4 of the original movie out from the top and bottom. And Thunder Road is not alone, it was just the first one I noticed, and is occurring with more and more movies TCM shows.I have noticed that some showings of 1.37 movies have added noticeable additional content in one direction or both, which I applaud, but sometimes with a loss in the other direction, or worse a loss in both directions with the illusion of being slightly wider, although that is occurring more with movies that are larger than 1.78 being broadcast to the left and right edges of the screen.A caring fan,Dave
This is one of those films that can easily be pre-judged incorrectly by looking at the title alone. That is exactly what I did. My loss! I decided to check the film out mid-way through. I kicked myself through the rest of the way. It is a neat military courtroom drama, that was well-acted by Newman, as well as the rest of the cast. I loved the rest of the film; not to mention how drop-dead gorgeous Paul Newman was during those years. At one point, as I remember, he was voted the sexiest man alive. Good choice, back in that day! Would you be so kind, TCM, to show this classic again, really soon? Surely, I am not the only one who would love to see this film again! Thank you. I'll be looking out for the next showing.
Movie The Rack
This was the first time I've seen this movie; however, it was riveting. I think it's appropriate for this time. It caused me to wonder if we make decisions because we can't continue in our present state or is it that we just don't want to. It let's you see the value in examining the difference.
I want to see The Rack on TCM!
- J Place
I remember seeing The Rack when I was 11 years old, and have wanted to see it again ever since to see if my memory of it being a riveting movie is correct.
Need to see the ending!
Is this movie scheduled to be shown on TV? I saw part of this movie a long time ago but never got to see the end due to a power outtage caused by a storm in my area. I have been wondering about the end for decades. I hope you can give me some good news.
The Rack was an amazing movie! I decided to watch it because I wanted to know what else Paul Newman acted in besides Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and wanted to see if his acting skills were good. Well, they are! He was phenominal in this movie. He has so much boyish charm, innocence, and plays a genuinely likeable character. The rest of the cast was equally fantastic and all-star in my eyes. Walter Pidgeon was so uptight and yet sympathetic. When he and Paul Newman's character finally bonded and cried together, it was such an emotional scene. I'd never seen Walter Pidgeon act like that in a movie and it was very moving. Overall, I would suggest anyone that loves a good war drama to see this. :)