Jack Elam Gets Cut

Jack Elam
Jack Elam

Veteran character actor Jack Elam was supposed to have a prominent role in the classic “High Noon.” He was a town drunk, guzzling booze in a bar while the climactic gunfight took place—the filmmakers were going to bounce between the shootout and the saloon as a counterpoint.

But director Fred Zinneman decided the fight worked just fine by itself. So one shot shows Elam entering the bar; the rest was cut and he’s not listed in the credits. Elam was okay with that: “I got to work two days.”

What do you think?

Mark Boardman

Mark Boardman is the features editor for True West Magazine as well as the editor of The Tombstone Epitaph. He also serves as pastor for Poplar Grove United Methodist Church in Indiana.