Avocado Weekly Movie Thread (8/23)

Welcome to the Weekly Movie Thread, your place on the Avocado to discuss films with your fellow commenters. Want to make a recommendation? Looking for recommendations? Want to share your opinions of movies, both new and classic?  

This year is the 70th Anniversary of the time Gary Cooper fought through back problems and the pains of a recent surgery to deliver an Academy Award winning performance in High Noon.

Then, as today, there were gatekeepers regarding Westerns. The movie was disliked by Howard Hawks and John Wayne. Said Hawks:  “I made Rio Bravo because I didn’t like High Noon. Neither did Duke. I didn’t think a good town marshal was going to run around town like a chicken with his head cut off asking everyone to help. And who saves him? His Quaker wife. That isn’t my idea of a good Western.”

Here’s the thing, though: High Noon was pretty transparently a commentary on the Hollywood blacklist. The screenwriter, Carl Foreman, was brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee in its investigation into Communist propaganda. He was shunned by the films’ producer, Stanley Kramer, because he refused to name names. Things got so bad that Foreman would leave the US and move to Britain. In interviews, John Wayne said he would “never regret having helped run Foreman out of the country.”

So, taken that way…. is it so crazy that Foreman would write a story about a man who spends his career trying to do the right thing and protect people, but only finds that everyone he turns to doesn’t appreciate him or refuses to help? And at the end his only option is to quit and leave an undeserving town?

Interestingly, the movie would find fans among American presidents like Dwight Eisenhower and Bill Clinton. Basically people who have to make hard decisions to save the community but will nevertheless be never appreciated for it. Also it turns out the Soviet Union didn’t like this film because it glorified the individual.

Bonus prompt: what film makes you lose your faith in humanity?