DVD: Rod Taylor – Pulling No Punches (2016)
Many years before Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and their ilk became my action heroes in the 1980’s, I was engrossed in the onscreen action of Ron Ely Doug McClure, and Rod Taylor. My 1st viewing of The Time Machine was a pivotal point in my obsession with cinema, and it is a movie that I still return to all these years later and enjoy it just as much as I did as a young child hiding behind his hands when the morlocks first appeared.
Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches is a superb documentary which follows his career from the very beginning, through to his last onscreen appearance in Inglorious Basterds (there’s even behind the scenes footage of his final shot in that movie).
Actors, directors, writers and friends reflect on his life and career, as well as candid stories from the man himself. These are accompanied by clips from various movies he was in, as well as on set footage which captures him between takes and interacting with cast and crew.
A handsome and talented man, he was in demand by many studios and very nearly became the 1st James Bond, which Rod recounts in a typically amusing manner. He was also renowned for doing his own stunts, which almost led to an early demise due to a rain covered car bonnet, which is yet another great story that he tells in person and also accompanied by the actual footage in the movie.
Featuring 60’s style animated graphics and music, Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches has all the pizzaz of a TV show/movie that Rod would have starred in back then, while also shining a light on all of the fantastic work that he has done over a long and varied career. Known more as an actor playing ‘a mans man’, this shows how adept he also was as a comic actor who could have carved a successful career in that genre alone.
For those of you who grew up watching Rod Taylor, this will bring back many memories and have you dipping back into his movies immediately. For the rest of you, this is a fantastic introduction to Rod and will surely make you intrigued to see more of his work.
- Extended interview with Rod Taylor and Tippi Hendren
- Burbank International Film Festival Q&A – September 10, 2017