MONDAY, MARCH 6 at 6:30 pm (signing)
7:30 pm (intro & film)
Aero Theatre-1428 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica
It’s HIGH NOON!
When author Glenn Frankel contacted me to let me know his latest work,” High Noon-The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of An American Classic” was ready, I assured him that we would be ready too. His last book, “The Searchers” was a wonderful look at one of the greatest westerns ever, as well as the history behind it, and a wonderful excuse to get the American Cinematheque to show the film on the big screen. Now, we get to do it again with another timeless classic! Join us for a special Monday night with a film that still has relevance, a film that stands on its own, but also has something to say about the times in which it was made, and perhaps about the times we live in now. Even 65 years after the fact, it is High Noon.
If you can’t make it, signed copies as always, are available for mail order.
HIGH NOON 1952, Paramount, 85 min, USA, Dir: Fred Zinnemann No movie hero ever walked taller than Gary Cooper in HIGH NOON. As Marshal Will Kane, he’s ready to turn in his badge and settle down with his new wife (Grace Kelly) until he learns a criminal is arriving on the noon train bent on revenge. When the locals turn a deaf ear to Kane’s pleas for help (even deputy Lloyd Bridges refuses), the lawman must face a gang of killers alone. This iconic Western, named by the AFI as one of the 100 greatest films of all time, won four Oscars, including a Best Actor award for Cooper and Best Song for “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’.” With Katy Jurado. Favorite film of former president Bill Clinton, who screened it a record 17 times at the White House.
From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Searchers, the revelatory story behind the classic movie High Noon and the toxic political climate in which it was created. It’s one of the most revered movies of Hollywood’s golden era. Starring screen legend Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly in her first significant film role, High Noon was shot on a lean budget over just thirty-two days but achieved instant box-office and critical success. It won four Academy Awards in 1953, including a best actor win for Cooper. And it became a cultural touchstone, often cited by politicians as a favorite film, celebrating moral fortitude. Yet what has been often overlooked is that High Noon was made during the height of the Hollywood blacklist, a time of political inquisition and personal betrayal. In the middle of the film shoot, screenwriter Carl Foreman was forced to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities about his former membership in the Communist Party. Refusing to name names, he was eventually blacklisted and fled the United States. (His co-authored screenplay for another classic, The Bridge on the River Kwai, went uncredited in 1957.) Examined in light of Foreman’s testimony, High Noon’s emphasis on courage and loyalty takes on deeper meaning and importance. 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.
“Not far removed from a James Ellroy novel. The 1950s film industry portrayed in High Noon is, like Ellroy’s Los Angeles, stocked with hard-core commies, idealistic fellow travelers, paranoid Red-baiters, union busters, corrupt congressmen, power-hungry gossip columnists, secretive FBI agents and their snitches, philandering actors and eager starlets. But far from being a Hollywood Babylon of the Red Scare, Frankel’s book is a detailed investigation of the way anti-communist persecution poisoned the atmosphere around one film, which succeeded nonetheless, and damaged the lives of the people who made it.” – Bookforum
“So much has been written about the blacklist’s perpetrators and victims that you might be forgiven for thinking you know all there is worth knowing, but Frankel offers new details and fresh insights. His portrait of Gary Cooper’s life and career is equally incisive . . . It will almost surely stand as the definitive document about this landmark movie. I can’t wait to see what subject this skilled journalist will tackle next.” – Leonard Maltin
“Glenn Frankel has endowed the term ‘film historian’ with a sweeping new dimension. High Noon is full of scholarly insight, compelling history and wonderfully dishy moments, but like his previous book on The Searchers it is also an American chronicle of real consequence. When Frankel writes about the making of a movie he is writing about the making of a country.” – Stephen Harrigan, author of THE GATES OF THE ALAMO and A FRIEND OF MR. LINCOLN
“Glenn Frankel’s High Noon isn’t just everything you always wanted to know about an enduring classic; it’s a deeply insightful portrait of the forces in postwar America and in blacklist-era Hollywood that made the film such a powerful product of such a troubled moment.” – Mark Harris, author of PICTURES AT A REVOLUTION and FIVE CAME BACK
“Glenn Frankel’s High Noon is three splendid books in one: a moment by moment account of the making of the classic western, a history of the Hollywood blacklist with much new material based on primary research, and, in the rise of Stanley Kramer Productions, the story of the independent producers who gradually supplanted conventional studio production. Even if we know how each story ends, it’s never less than a continuously fascinating read.” – Scott Eyman, author of JOHN WAYNE: THE LIFE AND LEGEND