The FeckenOdeon Cinema Society

HIGH NOON

1952 - Dir.: Fred Zinnemann  - HD Digital presentation

Made in 22 days for $750,000, mostly on a permanent set of a western street in Hollywood, High Noon was meticulously preplanned through story-boarding by the fastidious Zinnemann, then cut to the bone in post-production, so that it more or less takes place in so-called real time. The result is a classic example of what had come to be known in the late 1940s as an 'adult' or 'psychological' western.

Gary Cooper's ageing Marshal Kane, right, has cleaned up an archetypal frontier town and is about to settle elsewhere as a storekeeper with his new Quaker bride (Grace Kelly) when a telegraph message announces that a vicious outlaw he'd sent to state prison is arriving on the noon train and is coming after him with three fellow gunslingers. He's urged to leave; his pacifist wife turns against him; nobody in the community will come to his aid; the town's drinkers and gamblers welcome the return of the honky-tonk times. Kane is the lonely existential hero compelled by the western movie ethic - 'a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do'.

Gary Cooper's performance is masterful as is cinematographer Floyd Crosby's stark compositions. Nominated for seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture), this won four: Best Actor, Film Editing, Original Score, and Original Song for "High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin')."
























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