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High Wall

High Wall(1948)

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This film marked director Curtis Bernhardt's and screenwriter and producer Robert Lord's first assignments at M-G-M. High Wall was the last screenplay that Lester Cole wrote before his testimony at a November 1947 House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) hearing into suspected Communist infiltration of the motion picture industry. After challenging the right of the committee to demand information about his political affiliations, Cole was cited for contempt of Congress, imprisoned for one year and blacklisted by Hollywood. According to an October 1947 New York Times article, High Wall star Robert Taylor testified at a HUAC hearing that he suspected that Cole was a Communist. The New York Times article also notes that Morrie Ryskind, another writer who testified before the committee, "asserted that Lester Cole was unquestionably a Communist." While High Wall marked Cole's last screen credit under his real name, he later wrote screenplays under assumed names. (For more information on the HUAC hearings, see the entry above for Crossfire). Actors Van Heflin and Janet Leigh starred in a November 7, 1949 Lux Radio Theatre version of the story.