FRED ZINNEMANN | USA | 1952 | 85 MIN
Join PFS for a special FREE presentation of the classic western HIGH NOON, digitally restored and on the big screen. The film will be followed by a discussion with Glenn Frankel, author of High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic.
Western legend Gary Cooper plays Will Kane, a small town marshal about to retire when he gets word that Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald), an outlaw he put away, is out of prison and on an inbound train. Kane, convinced that Miller wants revenge, is torn between staying to fight and his new bride Amy (Grace Kelly), a pacifist who’s leaving town with or without him. Deserted by the townsfolk, Kane prepares to face off against Miller and his gang alone as the clock ticks down to high noon. Unfolding in real time, HIGH NOON is a masterpiece of tension, characterization, and structure that the Academy nominated for seven awards in 1953; it took home four, including Best Actor for Cooper and Best Editing. Also nominated was screenwriter Carl Foreman, who serves as the main character of Frankel’s book.
Carl Foreman intended the film as an allegory for McCarthyism and the Hollywood blacklists. He himself was called before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee during HIGH NOON’s production and refused to name names; he was subsequently forced off the picture, losing his producer’s credit. Foreman was effectively exiled, forced to spend the next several years writing under a pseudonym. His screenplay for THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, written with fellow blacklisted writer Michael Wilson, won an Academy Award in 1958; Foreman and Wilson would not be credited by the Academy for nearly 30 years.
From the publisher:
In this book, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel tells the story of the making of a great American Western, exploring how Carl Foreman’s concept of HIGH NOON evolved from idea to first draft to final script, taking on allegorical weight. Both the classic film and its turbulent political times emerge newly illuminated.