1952 July 30

Classic Film “High Noon” Released – Co-Producer/Writer’s Name Deleted (Carl Foreman)


High Noon, released on this day, is regarded as one of the greatest American of all-time. At the time it was released and today, many people regard the film as a commentary on the Cold War: fearful people refused to step forward to defend the basic values of the community. (Read the great 2017 book on the film and the blacklist, cited below.)

The film immediately ran afoul of the Hollywood blacklist of writers, directors, and actors because of their alleged left-wing political views. During the production of the film, Associate Producer and screenwriter Carl Foreman was called to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC). As a result, Producer/Director Stanley Kramer forced him to sell his share of the production company. Kramer then deleted Foreman’s name as Associate Producer, despite the work he had done. But Kramer did leave Foreman’s name on the credits as screenwriter, for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

HUAC began its investigation of alleged “unfriendly witnesses” who became known as the “Hollywood Ten” on October 27, 1947. All of the then (some of whom were or had been members of the Communist Party) refused to answer questions about the political associations and were cited for contempt of congress. All were convicted, sentenced to prison, and blacklisted after they were released.

Foreman was named as a communist by Martin Berkeley, who gained infamy for giving the largest number of names in the history of HUAC’s investigation of Hollywood — about 180 names. Foreman was quickly blacklisted by the film industry for not cooperating with HUAC. (See the film producers’ Waldorf Statement on December 3, 1947 announcing the blacklist.)

Foreman left the U.S. for England, and he and Kramer never spoke to each other again. Foreman’s name was later restored to the credits and can be seen on most versions available today. While blacklisted, Foreman contributed to the script of the acclaimed film The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957). His name was not listed on the original credits of that film, but in 1973 he was posthumously awarded the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

High Noon won four Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Gary Cooper’s performance in the lead role. President Bill Clinton called it his favorite film and reportedly screened it 17 times while in the White House. Some critics regard the film as an allegory of the Cold War, with the courageous Gary Cooper character left to defend himself in the face of fear and cowardice on the part of the community.

Learn more: Glenn Frankel, High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic (2017)

Watch the classic film: High Noon (1952)

Learn about Carl Foreman on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0286025/

Learn more about all the films affected by the blacklist: Paul Buhle and Dave Wagner, Blacklisted: The Film Lover’s Guide to the Hollywood Blacklist (2003)

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