High Noon – starring Gary Cooper & Grace Kelly. Cooper won an Academy Award for his role as the aging lawman who stands alone to defend his town from hardened outlaws.
Editorial review of High Noon courtesy of Amazon.com
Written by Carl Foreman (who was later blacklisted during the anticommunist hearings of the ’50s) and superbly directed by Fred Zinnemann, this 1952 classic stars Gary Cooper as just-married lawman Will Kane, who is about to retire as a small-town sheriff and begin a new life with his bride (Grace Kelly) when he learns that gunslinger Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald) is due to arrive at high noon to settle an old score. Kane seeks assistance from deputies and townsfolk, but soon realizes he’ll have to stand alone in his showdown with Miller and his henchmen. Innovative for its time, the suspenseful story unfolds in approximate real time (from 10:40 a.m. to high noon in an 84-minute film), and many interpreted Foreman’s drama as an allegorical reflection of apathy and passive acceptance of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anticommunist campaign. Political underpinnings aside, this remains a milestone of its genre (often referred to as the first “adult” Western), and Cooper is flawless in his Oscar-winning role. —Jeff Shannon
The myth and poetry of the old west come alive in Fred Zinnemann s (Julia) classic western, High Noon (1952). One of the great treasures of the American cinema, the film stars the legendary Gary Cooper as lawman Will Kane, a marshal who stands alone to defend a town of cowardly citizens against a gang of killers out for revenge. Engaged in the fight of his lifetime, Kane stands to lose everything when the clock strikes noon his friends, his honor, and his Quaker bride, played by Grace Kelly in one of her first screen roles. Unfolding in real time, the tension builds as we race ever closer to the climactic duel from which the film takes its name. For his career-defining role, Cooper would go on to win the Oscar® for Best Actor. High Noon s stellar cast also includes Lloyd Bridges (Try and Get Me), Thomas Mitchell (It s a Wonderful Life), Katy Jurado (Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid), Otto Kruger (Saboteur), Lon Chaney (The Wolf Man), Henry Morgan (Strategic Air Command), Jack Elam (Hannie Caulder) and Lee Van Clef (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). High Noon won a total four Academy Awards including Best Editing, Best Score (Dimitri Tiomkin, The Old Man and the Sea) and Best Song, Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin , written by Tiomkin and Ned Washington and sung by Tex Ritter. High Noon also received Oscar® nominations for Best Picture (Stanley Kramer, producer), Best Director (Fred Zinnemann) and Best Screenplay (Carl Foreman).