High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic

Bloomsbury Pr. Feb. 2017. 384p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781620409480. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781620409503. FILM
Much has been written about Hollywood's blacklist era of the 1940s and 1950s, but seldom has it been explored through the story of one particular film. According to Frankel (The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend), the 1952 film High Noon is not simply a landmark production of style and substance but an allegorical statement about the times in which it was created. This book shuttles back and forth between a highly focused study of the film, Gary Cooper, and screenwriter Carl Foreman, and an informed and revealing examination of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) and the many people in Hollywood who were affected by, or acted on behalf of, that committee. This may be one of the most accessible books ever written concerning the effects of HUAC on Hollywood, as Frankel's decision to blend these two aspects of Hollywood history, and his innate skill as a journalist, has produced a highly readable and fascinating look at a period that is less widely known than one might imagine.
VERDICT Anyone interested in film and/or politics will enjoy and learn from this book.
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