The Red Scare Hollywood era is familiar nonfiction territory, but Frankel makes it vital and gets down to the roots. Frankel--who previously uncovered the backstory of the classic John Wayne movie 'The Searchers'--says the blacklist marked a uniquely grim time in American history, one with special resonance today.
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But Frankel's book feels fresh nonetheless. He brings out the drama and the no-win situation of everyone who was called before HUAC: throw your friends and colleagues under the bus by naming them as former or current Communists or sympathizers, or watch your life and career go up in flames. Frankel's saga presents a gripping and coherent picture of the corrupt politics, paranoia and fear mongering that drove Hollywood studio heads to capitulate to anti-Communist witch-hunters. The s 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. A comprehensive guide to both a classic film and the era that created it. And a nice bonus: Although it may impart a civics lesson, it doesn't read like one. His portrait of Gary Cooper's life and career is equally incisive.
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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.
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.
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Visit the Australia site. Continue on UK site. If any one of the four girls stepped out of line, it would be up to Agent Chenlo to admonish them, which could mean anything from a severe dressing-down to having their life energy removed to the point where they passed out.
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She was authorised to kill them, if she had to, and she carried the silver-topped cudgel, normally worn by the sisters, at her belt, but Agent Chenlo had never had to use it. She watched them for a moment, rolling the barrels up the gangplank, observed by the wiry captain and a spotty cabin boy. The barrels were heavy and sometimes the fell-witches found the work too difficult, weakened as they were by years spent in damp cells eating gruel, but this group were making the best of it. She made an odd noise, somewhere between a yelp and a gasp, and heard the captain shout something.
One of the girls let out a little shriek. A dragon was flying over the sea towards them. It was a magnificent thing, covered in pearly white scales, its wings bristling with white feathers. It wore a harness of brown leather and silver, and there was a young woman sitting on its back, her black hair flapping wildly in the wind and a furious expression on her face.
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Agent Chenlo turned back and shouted at the girls. Get on the boat now. Cast off immediately. The man opened his mouth to argue, and she raised her hands in a clear threat.
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The novice agents were all either staring at the dragon — it was so close now, so close — or staring at her, their eyes wide. Agent Chenlo clapped her hands together once, sharply, and the spell broke.
As one, the young women ran up the gangplank, and as they disappeared below decks, she felt a surge of relief. From the towers, bells were ringing as various people sounded the alarm all at once. Chenlo hesitated on the jetty, uncertain what to do next. Knowledge of a number of recent events jostled for her attention, but one fact was clearer than anything else: as unlikely as it seemed, the dragon had to be a legendary war-beast from distant Ebora, and the young woman riding on its back had every reason to be furious with the Winnowry.
You can find Jen on Twitter sennydreadful. Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the tour. Ebora was once a glorious city, defended by legendary warriors and celebrated in song. The deep-rooted connection that Tormalin, Noon and the scholar Vintage share with their Eboran war-beasts has kept them alive so far. Noon is no stranger to playing with fire and knows just where to recruit a new — and powerful — army. But even she understimates the epic quest that is to come. It is a journey wrought with pain and sacrifice — a reckoning that will change the face of Sarn forever.
Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek. View all posts by dave. But I am not ready for the finale and I know it. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account.
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