Thursday, January 8, 2015

Rod Taylor (1930-2015)

Was any other actor directed by Hitchcock, Antonioni (see above) and Tarantino? To note that is not even to mention his two perhaps-most-beloved roles, in The Time Machine and the latterly-appreciated Dark of the Sun. Taylor was never a major star yet is arguably an iconic figure of his heyday, the Sixties. His casting by Antonioni in Zabriskie Point, a film much concerned with the iconography of the consumer landscape, makes sense in that regard. Taylor had a meandering up-and-down career, bouncing between movies and TV through the late Fifties and even making an Italian peplum film, Colossus and the Amazon Queen before finally establishing himself fairly firmly as a Hollywood leading man. In the Seventies he headed back to TV but had a memorable turn against type as a vicious villain in The Deadly Trackers, a film so transgressive that Al Lettieri was a good guy in it. It isn't really that hard to think of a film Rod Taylor was cool in, and I'm sure readers will think of some I haven't even seen. He may not rank among the most beloved stars, but we're sure to see now just how many movie fans really liked the guy.


dfordoom said...

Dark of the Sun is a great movie and it has to be the performance of his career.

hobbyfan said...

Taylor's last two TV shows were failures. Neither Bearcats! nor Masquerade lasted beyond a season. Maybe it's better, then, that he is remembered for his film work.

Michael O'Sullivan said...

And John Ford as well ! - for the first scenes in Young Cassidy with Rod and the young Julie Christie.