Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy Birthday: Rod Taylor!

Rod Taylor (11 January 1930), first American appearance bit role was in, The Catered Affair. His continued high profile support roles in major pictures such as, Giant(1956), Raintree County(1957) and Separate Tables (1958).

Some of my favorite films are also some of Taylor's best-known films: The Time Machine (1960). A British science fiction film based on the novel of the same name written by H. G. Wells. The story is about a man living in 1895 in England who builds a time-travelling machine which he uses to travel to the future. The film starred Rod Taylor, Alan Young and Yvette Mimieux.

As George, Rod Taylor's performance makes George believable as a explorer/adventurer which takes the viewer along with him for the ride into the future. Taylor, is a wonderful actor and this maybe the role he will be best remembered.

Fun Facts:

Director George Pal, was a friend of animator Walter Lantz. As tribute, Pal wanted to include Woody Woodpecker references in all his films. In the scenes where the Eloi are having a good time, every now and then you can distinctly hear the "Woody Woodpecker" laugh.

During the air raid scene, as everyone is rushing into the shelter a little girl crossing the street stops to pick something up that she dropped. When she does, you can see she picks up a small Woody Woodpecker doll.

The plaque on the control panel of time machine reads "Manufactured by H George Wells."

Alfred Hitchcock's, The Birds (1963). Where, Taylor starred as Mitch Brenner, a man whose hometown of Bodega Bay and family home in the Northern California town come under attack from flocks of birds for no reason. Hitchcock has made many great films, and this certainly is one of my favorites.

I was amazed of how carefully Hitchcock builds the suspense in this movie. You watch the birds perching and not moving, as they are waiting and preparing for their next attack....

Another favorite Rod Taylor film of mine is: The Glass Bottom Boat,(1966) romantic/comedy. Directed by Frank Tashlin. Cast: Doris Day and Rod Taylor.

Jennifer Nelson, a widow working in the public relations office for a space laboratory, meets her boss Bruce Templeton when he accidentally catches his fishing line on her mermaid outfit, leaving her bottomless.. While she is working part time as a mermaid for her father who owns a glass bottom boat. Templeton, soon learns that she is working at his plant, hires her to write a biography about him while he is test-piloting a new rocket. Jenny's habit of calling her dog Vladimir at home, catches the suspicions of CIA.

When she overhears Templeton discussing that he believes that she is a foreign spy. She makes a game of it by making a phony phone call at a party at Templeton's home. Unknown to her, a secret formula has been hidden in her purse, and the real espionage agent follows her home. Jenny jumps out of a window and a hilarious chase begins.

Will the real foreign spy be caught?

One of my favorite scenes is when Doris Day is dressed up as Mata-Hari . Another favorite scene is when Robert "Napoleon Solo" Vaughn shows up in a cameo at the party. You can hear a clip of the "Man from U.N.C.L.E." theme playing in the background.

The rest of the supporting cast is fun. Dick Martin is wonderful as Taylor's partner, and Arthur Godfrey is great as her Dad. Paul Lynde is hilarious as a paranoid security guard, who goes under cover in drag. Dom DeLuise plays a cute part as an inept spy.

Taylor began to change his image to tough guy roles starting with his co-producing Chuka' that led to Dark of the Sun, Nobody Runs Forever and Darker than Amber.


  1. I adore Rod Taylor! The films you highlight are just fantastic. I love The Time Machine and The Glass Bottom Boat.

  2. Dawn, what a great birthday tribute! Like Amanda, I am in love with Rod Taylor! I like The Time Machine and The Birds best. I saw him in an interview not too long ago, and he still looks pretty good to me. He seems like a nice guy too.

  3. I'm a fan of Rod Taylor too!
    I watched my DVD of The Birds again the other week and really enjoyed it and I thought he was great in Dark Of The Sun, the thriller about mercenaries in Africa which also co-starred Yvette Mimieux and Jim Brown.

  4. Amanda, Thank you.

    Becky, Thank you, I missed the Rod Taylor interview. :( Was it on TCM?

    Paul, I will have to check out the film, Dark Of The Sun. Thank you, for the recommendation.


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