High Noon (8/30/12)

High NoonMovie One Hundred Ninety Nine

When a dangerous criminal is released from prison, the town marshal that sent him there must face him one last time in High Noon.

Will Kane (Gary Cooper), the marshal of Hadleyville, marries Amy (Grace Kelly) and plans to give up his badge and live a peaceful life as a shopkeeper. As the newlywed couple is preparing to leave, word spreads that Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald), a criminal that Kane put behind bards, is arriving on the very train the couple would be leaving on. The Kanes rush off on horseback to get out of town but Will decides to turn around and stop running. As he tries to roundup townsfolk to help him, he is met with no assistance and the clock is still ticking for Miller’s arrival.

High Noon was quite a surprise for me since I had never seen it before and was not even very familiar with the film. The timing of the film actually elapses in almost real time and we are constantly reminded the clock is always ticking away for the inevitable showdown between Kane and Miller’s gang at noon. Apparently the film is allegorical for the House Un-American Activities Committee that was trying to fish out communists during the Korean War with no one standing up to help the film’s producers. Unfortunately, we found that connection out after watching High Noon but it made the story a little more poignant.

I’m also a bit ashamed to say that I’m not sure if I’ve seen a Gary Cooper film before. The part of Kane in High Noon could have very well have gone to John Wayne but I’m glad that Cooper was the star, he was quite fitting for the role. He was tough, but his reluctance to fight (and likely die) was believable. It was really a great performance. Another great performance is the gorgeous Grace Kelly. Lloyd Bridges also has a part as a deputy, but it’s hard for me to think of him as anyone but Izzy Mandelbaum from Seinfeld.

I always appreciate seeing films like High Noon, especially if they are new to me. While I don’t often get in the mood to watch a Western, there is a short list of Westerns that I could watch just about anytime. I think High Noon has secured a place on that list.

I give it 4 High Noon theme songs out of 5.


Rotten Tomatoes


31 responses to “High Noon (8/30/12)

  1. Great great movie. Glad to see you liked it. I may actually write it up for my Movies That Everyone Should See series this weekend… I think it’s worthy, definitely!

    Didnt know that about the House Un-American Activities Committee. Interesting… I’ll have to read up on it!

  2. It’s a classic for the genre, alright. And I think it works best as an allegory to the witch hunts of the House Un-American Activities Committee of the time. If you weren’t aware, the Howard Hawks classic, Rio Bravo, was a response to High Noon. They’re both entertaining films with wildly differing perspectives for the job of the enforcing the law (along with the political views of filmmakers and leads, alike). Well done, my friend.

  3. Nice points. I’ve actually never seen this although it is one of my Dad’s all time favourites. Like others have mentioned, I’m not a fan of the Western genre as a whole, but appreciate one when it’s well done. I liked the recent True Grit remake (although am often suspicious of remakes and perhaps wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much if I was attached to the original). I also think I would have a hard time watching this without hearing (in my head) Lloyd Bridges saying, “it’s go time”. 🙂

  4. great write up, Andy. glad you reviewed this movie. I hold it in very high regard along with True Grit and 3:10 to Yuma. Good job, man.

  5. Jaws and now High Noon? You must be watching Cinemark’s Classic Series. I wish they didn‘t charge so much so casual filmgoers would be tempted to discover these wonderful films. $14 is a bit steep, but I personally love the idea of restoring classics film for the big screen. How was Doctor Zhivago?

  6. Andy, You’re Allowed To Borrow My GARY COOPER Collection Anytime.
    “HIGH NOON”, “PRIDE OF THE YANKEES”, “SGT. YORK” and “BEAU GESTE” Are ALL True-Blue COOPER Classics!!! 🙂

  7. This is a great film. Not just a great Western, a great film, period. When I first started putting together my list of movies that I needed to see, started really taking movie-watching seriously, High Noon was one of the first I rented. I was not disappointed.

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  9. Nice review, man! Not a huge fan of Westerns myself. But then High Noon is much more than a western. The way it pretty much unfolds in real time is a clever device which elevates it to a whole new level. Hope I’m not getting off-topic here, but Peter Hyam’s 1981 movie Outland was a sci-fi take on High Noon and may be worth checking out. I remember it was criticized at the time for ripping off High Noon, some critics even referring to it as High Moon. 🙂

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  11. what separates “high noon” from other westerns is that it was more of a depiction of what it was really like. too many westerns glorify the violence and inaccurately make heroes out of murder. they take away the human element of fear, which existed, but you never see anyone afraid, except in two movies. “high noon” and “unforgiven.” well, a little afraid in “3:10 to Yuma,” but not afraid enough, and the ending of that movie was just plain stupid. i’m talking about the remake with christian bale and russel crowe, not the original, which i should see.

    but all westerns pale in comparison to “the searchers.”

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