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Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches (ATOM study guide)

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    Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches is an important tribute to an overlooked and underrated Australian actor Rod Taylor. Internationally successful Australian male actors that are better known today include Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman and even Paul Hogan. However, what is not known, especially among young audiences, is the life and career of Rod Taylor, who achieved international fame and success during the 1960s and paved the way for these more modern icons.

    Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches provides an overview of Taylor’s life and career. It is organised into ‘chapters’ that examine different moments throughout his professional journey – the films he starred in, the nature of the roles, his persona, his successes, and the cultural and historical context of the time. Each chapter includes interviews with a range of ‘talking heads’ who provide insight into these various topics, including fellow actors and actresses, his business manager, authors, critics and contemporary Australian directors.

    Throughout the documentary, Taylor’s success in America is attributed to his uniquely Australian qualities – such as his physical robustness and his relaxed, laconic attitude – which placed him as refreshingly different to the typical American persona.

    Curriculum links

    Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches can be linked to secondary studies of English and Media Studies.

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