Glenn Frankel's new book is High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic.
From the transcript of his Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross:
GROSS: "High Noon" was released in 1952. Carl Foreman, the screenwriter, who's the main character in your book, initially intended to make a western that would be a parable about the post-World War II world and the importance of the United Nations. But after the blacklist started, he decided to make "High Noon" a parable about the blacklisting era. So in what sense do you see and do - did he see "High Noon" as a parable about that era?Visit Glenn Frankel's website.
FRANKEL: Well, Carl talked about this later. Of course, he didn't say anything about it at the time...
GROSS: No, of course, yeah.
FRANKEL: ...Because it would have been dangerous to the movie. But I think you basically see it in the way he treats the community. This is set in the fictional place called Hadleyville, which sounds a lot like Hollywood. And what Carl - what the good citizens of Hadleyville do when faced with the threat coming on the train - you know, this bad guy who used to run the town is coming back and he's got three thugs waiting for him. And they're going to seek out and kill the marshal, the lawman, who had resisted them and put him in jail years earlier.
The lawman, Will Kane is his name in the film, played by Gary Cooper, thinks he can rely on the community the same way he did originally when they imprisoned these guys to support him. But he finds - and the core of the movie is him going around from place to place and person to person and to the church during a service and finding that the community is not backing him. There's a sort of moral corruption going on. There's a cowardice.
And he ends up standing alone. And that's exactly, I think, the point that Carl was trying to make, that Hollywood, when faced with these gunmen, thugs, whatever you want to call them of the committee coming back to Hollywood, didn't stand up. He found himself being shunned, friends crossed the street to avoid talking to him, his partners in the little film production company that created "High Noon" - and that was a very creative and interesting little group of people led by Stanley Kramer. He found himself suddenly facing a challenge from them. At first, they were very supportive.
But as time went on and Carl faced...[read on]
My Book, The Movie: The Searchers.