Watched Fred Zinneman's 1952 Western "High Noon"

"People gotta talk themselves into law and order before they do anything about it. Maybe because down deep they don't care. They just don't care."
  --Martin Howe, The Judge

On the
AFI 100, “High Noon” is number 27.  It’s a film about a just-retired marshal that has to face a gang by himself.  It stars Gary Cooper as Will Kane, the marshal of the town.

In the beginning of the film, he marries a Quaker named Amy Fowler, played by Grace Kelly.

Will finds out that one of the most notorious criminals from the town has been pardoned and he’s heading back on a train that arrives at noon, which is in about an hour and twenty minutes.

One of the town deputies is played by a young Lloyd Bridges, who is bitter about not being recommended as the new town marshal.

Although the showdown at the end was fun, the film is more about Will’s attempting to get people to help him than it is about him facing the gang.  The townspeople had different reasons for not helping him: some were friends of the gang, some had more prosperous businesses when the leader of the gang was around, some didn’t want any trouble, and some were just plain cowards. 

I really enjoyed this movie.  I think the thing that makes it great is that the pacing of the movie is in real-time.  Like 24, every minute that passes is a minute in the film.  As Will tries desperately to get people to help him face the gang, I felt his desperation as well.  I can see why it’s President Bill Clinton’s favorite movie (he screened it at the White House 17 times).  It’s got political maneuvering and the challenges of facing great adversity, especially when politics fails.

It’s also available on
Netflix streaming in high definition.

Related item:
High Noon 2-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition
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