After an old enemy comes back into his life, a newly retired marshal decides to face him, only to find that his town refuses to help him.
High Noon (1952)
Directed by Fred Zinnemann
Written by Carl Foreman
Starring Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges,
Thomas Mitchell, Katy Jurado, Otto Kruger,
Lon Chaney Jr., Harry Morgan, Ian MacDonald
Based on the short story The Tin Star by John W. Cunningham
Oscar Wins - Best Actor (Gary Cooper), Best Film Editing,
Best Original Song (High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin')), Best Original Score (Dimitri Tiomkin)
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Director,
Best Adapted Screenplay
High Noon is a great western filled with incredible performances and a compelling story. It plays against type in a way that really makes the film unique in the realm of American westerns. The flawless hero is flawed and the rallying townspeople refuse to rally. Led by an Oscar-winning performance from Gary Cooper, High Noon is a an exciting movie that is almost entirely about anticipation.
Almost every character apart from Gary Cooper's Marshal Will Kane is immensely unlikable, due to their determination not to aid the marshal in his personal fight against outlaw Frank Miller. Grace Kelly plays his religious wife, Thomas Mitchell plays the rationally-thinking mayor, and Lloyd Bridges plays the marshal's selfish young partner. It's almost like the movie wants you to hate everybody but the marshal, as it makes his inevitable victory all the sweeter.
High Noon is one of the most influential westerns of all time, for a number of reasons. Its refusal to step into western stereotypes and the way it's filmed in real time are just two of them. Though it does become slow at times, it evolves into an exciting story about revenge and determination. I enjoyed it, as I'm sure most of you will too.