The Rack (1956)

Starring: PN, Wendell Corey, Walter Pidgeon, Edmond O'Brien, Anne Francis, Lee Marvin, Cloris Leachman

Directed by: Arnold Laven

Summary:A Rod Serling story (that seems like it should have just remained a teleplay) focuses on Edward Hall Jr. (PLN), a young man held captive for 2 years in a Chinese prison camp during the Korean War, since returned to his family stateside. There is no true physical abuse, only mental torture that causes Hall to crack and reveal secrets to the enemy. He is court martialed and ordered to stand trial for treason. Walter Pidgeon plays Edward Hall, Sr. and Anne Francis plays the wife of his brother, who remains with them out of obligation after the brother was killed during the war.

Quote: Captain Edward W. Hall Jr.: "Do you know what's the matter with me?"
Aggie Hall: "No."
Captain Hall: "My mother wasn't in the army so I'm a half-breed."

“I wish that ever soldier… I wish that everybody could feel the way that I feel now. Because if they did they would know what it feels like to be a man who sold himself short and who lost his moment of magic. I pray to god that they find theirs.”

Trivia:Remake of the United States Steel Hour teleplay that aired in 1955. J. Marshall Thompson (probably best known [or not] for his role in the 1960s African safari series “Daktari”) played the role PLN took over in the film. Paul was 31 when this movie was made, he could pass for 18!

The Newman Factor and Rating: Paul plays it a little “hammy”—it was an early role for him and he hadn’t hit his stride yet with his movie roles, or maybe that’s just the direction he got. 8 of 10. Didn’t love this one, the topic is a difficult one: can someone be not guilty of treason when they’ve assisted the enemy? Maybe the film had much more power during the days of the Red Scare, but now, when Communism is not the wolf at the door, it loses some of it’s impact. 6 of 10.