- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 14 hours and 27 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.com Release Date: February 21, 2017
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01N4SJWKA
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic Audiobook – Unabridged
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So it all starts with the script. In the case of High Noon, that credit goes to screenwriter Carl Foreman. Now having a great screenplay does not guarantee a great movie. For that, you need all of the other pieces to fall into place. The book High Noon by Glenn Frankell deftly describes how one picture defied the odds and became a classic of the genre.
Juxtaposed along with the behind-the-scenes stories of High Noon are the stories of lead actor Gary Cooper and the Hollywood blacklist. The author intertwines the three stories from the initial concept for High Noon to the Oscars.
High Noon came about during the peak of the House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings in Hollywood. The stated goal of the Hearings was to root out individuals wishing to overthrow the government. The whole thing was a case of government overreach, misunderstanding, and baseless charges that left hundreds of talented people unable to earn a living. Carl Foreman, a former member of the Communist Party, was called to testify. He refused to name names of other party members. He was eventually blacklisted. The story told in High Noon, where a lone sheriff if forced to face off against four gunmen out for revenge, is an allegory of the fear of that period.
As for Gary Cooper, he was an aging actor whose prospects were dwindling. He was before my time, but he did star in one of my favorite movies -- Seargent Yorke. His portrayal of Sheriff Kane as someone willing to stand up for what is right despite the odds was part of the film's success.
I watched the movie after reading the book. I thought it held up well despite its age.
Studio writers, directors, producers, actors were coerced into revealing names of anyone they knew in their Hollywood movie orbit who attended a meeting or even a social party of any ultra- left wing group. Execs who were investigated and listed by the HUAC were put on the famous Hollywood "black list", as not employable for further work in the studios. Those who refused to cooperate with the HUAC and denounce their friends and relatives in the business were admired by some and persecuted by others. And the reverse was true of those who betrayed their colleagues by submitting their names to the Committee.
It was an ugly time--mcarthyism-- and the author divides his descriptions of the making of that great Oscar winning movie High Noon and the biography of its admired and beloved actor, Gary Cooper, with a detailed scholarship of the anti-communist phobia of the 1950's era in the motion picture industry. You can almost skim through which of two topics you're not interested in and still have a good read ---How a movie is made--- the technical and artistic direction of a masterpiece, , or the Congressional investigations of the studios.
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A seminal piece of research