The 1952 western classic had all the elements of a Golden Age film: an unsung town hero played by the legendary Gary Cooper, his beautiful lover and heroine, later marked as Grace Kelly’s first role on the big screen, and an epic and courageous battle to stay true to oneself against all odds.
But despite being a favorite film among American presidents, its conception surfaced during the height of the Hollywood blacklist: anyone believed to have ties to Communists would be weeded out from the industry - actors, directors, screenwriters and more. The first group of professionals to be rounded up were “The Hollywood Ten,” blacklisted on Nov. 25, 1947, in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
“High Noon’s” screenwriter, Carl Foreman, did testify before the committee about his previous membership in the Communist Party, but after refusing to surrender any names, the screenwriter was also blacklisted from the industry and he later fled the United States.
Author and veteran-journalist Glenn Frankel highlights new details in his book “High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic” and speaks to host Larry Mantle about the film’s evolution through politically turbulent times.
Glenn Frankel, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of “High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic” (Bloomsbury 2017)