High Noon (1952)

High Noon (1952)

High Noon (1952)

Gary Cooper is retiring law man Will Kane in this bona fide Western classic. On the day of his wedding (to Grace Kelly), Kane has to delay giving up the badge to face a gang of criminals who call him out. Kane finds himself deserted by his townsfolk, and must face the gang's arrival on the noon train.

High Noon ditches traditional Hollywood Western tropes - such as chases and epic scenery - for "a story about a man's conflict of conscience", as director Zinnemann put it. Made against the backdrop of the Hollywood Communist witch-hunt, High Noon is considered an allegory against blacklisting. John Wayne rejected the lead role calling the script "The most un-American thing I've ever seen in my whole life". Wayne teamed up with director Howard Hawks in 1959 to make Rio Bravo (another classic) as a retort. High Noon writer Carl Foreman, a one-time Communist party member, moved to Britain before the film's release as he was expecting to be blacklisted (which he subsequently was). Wayne was a high-profile conservative and later took credit for having "helped run [Foreman] out of the country".

Best Actor (Cooper), Editing, Music and Original Song at the 1953 Academy Awards; Best Actor, Drama (Cooper), Supporting Actress (Jurado), Score and Cinematography at the 1953 Golden Globes
1952Rating: G85 minsUSA
WesternClassic
Director:
Fred Zinnemann ('From Here to Eternity', 'A Man for All Seasons', 'The Day of the Jackal')
Writer:
Carl Foreman
Cast:
Gary CooperGrace KellyThomas MitchellLloyd BridgesKaty JuradoOtto KrugerLon Chaney Jr.Harry Morgan

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High Noon (1952) / Reviews

Variety

Variety

Zinnemann carefully and deliberately makes the most of the mood cast by the threat of impending violence.

Full review
Time Out

Time Out

Won a fistful of Oscars, but in these days of pasteboard screen machismo, it's worth seeing simply as the anatomy of what it took to make a man before the myth turned sour.

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The New York Times

The New York Times

Meaningful in its implications, as well as loaded with interest and suspense, High Noon is a western to challenge Stagecoach for the all-time championship.

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

Deserving of its label as a true classic, and essential viewing.

Full review