(Recommended by SI reader guruprasad)
Just received the High Noon DVD from Netflix.
Released in 1952, the 85-minute movie features Gary Cooper and our beloved Grace Kelly.
Directed by Fred Zinnemann, the movie went on to win four Academy Awards including Best Actor for Gary Cooper.
High Noon is not our first Gary Cooper film. We’ve seen him along with our all time favorite sweetheart Ingrid Bergman in For Whom the Bell Tolls.
According to Wiki:
In 1989, High Noon was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”, entering the registry during the latter’s first year of existence. The film is #27 on the American Film Institute’s 2007 list of great films. [#33 today, i.e. May 5, 2009]
We’ll update this post after we finish watching the movie.
A must watch classic.
Grieve not just for what you are missing by way of quality movies but also for what you know not you are missing.
Hollywood was making much such wonderful films in the early 1950s and six decades later we still churn out trash like Drona, Chandni Chowk to China, Villu and Aegan. If this isn’t a tragedy, we don’t know what else qualifies.
High Noon is not merely a 85-minute film. The entire events in this black and white movie happen over roughly a 85-minute period.
Although officially classified in the Western genre, we would classify it as a neo-Western because there really is very little action except for the last six minutes or so. None of the glorious horse races or the dust rising here. No sir. Not here.
On the Noon Train
Trouble is in the air.
It’s 10:40 in the morning. And word comes to the small town Hadleyville that notorious murderer Frank Miller is returning on the noon train after his release from prison. His three buddies are already at the train station, waiting for him.
So, what is the just married town marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper), who is getting ready to leave the town for good, to do? You see, before going to prison, Frank has vowed to return and kill Kane. Frank is also a bad man whose return heralds bad times again for the town.
And Kane’s Quaker wife Amy (Grace Kelly) is most unhappy when he turns the horses around and threatens to leave on the same noon train.
What does Will Kane choose – love or duty?
And what about the town-people? Will they rally to the call of the marshal to help save the town or will they turn tail and run in the face of imminent danger?
Watch High Noon to find out for yourself. And you’ll thank us.
Is it Perfect?
Of course, not. Gary Cooper looks far too old for the young Grace Kelly. But that’s the only jarring note in this classic.
The acting is solid and the story holds your attention throughout.
High Noon is an outstanding accomplishment from director Fred Zinnemann and, hey, watch out for the nice twist. No, we ain’t telling you more. No, we ain’t.
Here’s a nice one from the movie. As the saloon owner Helen Ramirez says:
It takes more than big broad shoulders to make a man, Harvey. And you have a long way to go.
And so do you, Bollywood. A long way to go.
A moment later, Helen then tells Harvey:
You know something? I don’t think you will ever make it.
Yes, Bollywood. We don’t think you’ll ever make it.
Oh, we almost forgot to tell you one more reason to watch this movie – the song Do not forsake me, oh my darling.
If you live in the U.S., you can get High Noon from Netflix. If you live in India, online stealing is up your alley anyway. 😉