“A behind-the-scenes look at how the shifting politics of Hollywood in the 1940s and ’50s caught up Carl Foreman, the screenwriter of ‘High Noon’, and how that classic American western was informed by, and speaking to, the blacklist.”
Featured in LA Times’ Best Non-Fiction Books of 2017.
“This extensively researched mash-up of politics, personalities and showbiz recounts the creation of a film that has become a metaphor for the showdown between good and evil.”
Featured in Washington Post’s 50 Notable Non-Fiction Books of 2017.
From the New York Times-bestselling author, Glenn Frankel, of The Searchers comes the revelatory story behind the classic movie High Noon. As one of the most revered movies of Hollywood’s golden era, High Noon won four Academy Awards in 1953, including a best actor win for Gary Cooper despite being shot with a lean budget and in just over thirty-two days. It was an instant box-office and became one of the most critical successes of its time.
The movie was such a success that most people tend to forget that High Noon was created in a time of the Hollywood blacklist, political inquisition and personal betrayal. Halfway through shooting the film, screenwriter Carl Foreman was forced to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities about his former membership in the Communist Party. He refused to gives up names and was blacklisted, fleeing the United States despite the fact that he was co-authoring the screenplay for another classic, The Bridge on the River Kwai, for which he went uncredited in 1957.
When linked to Foreman’s testimony, High Noon’s places an emphasis on courage and loyalty, which booth take on a deeper meaning and importance in the film.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel gives this great American Western the center stage that it deserves and explores how Carl Foreman’s concept of High Noon evolved from idea to first draft to final script, taking on symbolic weight as his blacklisting. Both the classic film and its turbulent political times emerge newly illuminated through the journalist’s literary genius.
The reviews show that the book is nothing less than outstanding.
“Though Frankel began this sumptuous history long before the latest election, he ends up reminding us that 2016 was far from the first time that politicians trafficked in lies and fear, and showing us how, nonetheless, people of integrity came together to do exemplary work.” – Washington Post
“The movie ‘High Noon,’ great in itself, is all the greater for the backstory Mr. Frankel tells.” – The Wall Street Journal