Gary Cooper, the Red Scare and Golden-Age Hollywood
The movie “High Noon,” great in itself, is all the greater for the backstory Glenn Frankel tells in his new book.
In August 2015, the headline for an editorial in this newspaper read: “ Gary Cooper in Europe.” On a train from Amsterdam to Paris, an armed jihadi burst into a passenger car. Three young Americans happened to be aboard. The trio rose up as one, subduing the terrorist before he could fire his weapon. These men, said The Wall Street Journal’s editors, represented “an admirable strain in American culture that doesn’t shrink from individual acts of heroism for the larger good. . . . Heroism used to be celebrated in Hollywood, though it rarely is in these cynical days.”