Wednesday, August 21, 2019

"High Noon": 1952 suspense film in real time, as the clock runs down, a western about standing up to a bully

In these times of political polarization, “High Noon” (1952, directed by Fred Zinnemann) may be one of the ultimate films about standing up to bullies. It was written by Stanley Kramer and produced by his company (and Republic Pictures) and released through United Artists, the independent film company of the past.

The film, lasting 85 minutes, is a western shot in real time, as a released con Frank Miller (Ian Macdonald) is due in a New Mexico town at high noon on a train, and the sheriff Will Kane (Gary Cooper) will have to deal with him and protect his new bride Amy Fowler (Grace Kelly).

The story concept is somewhat similar to the 1966 film “The Chase” (2016/10/13). 
I recall seeing this film at the old Buckingham Theater in Arlington VA (now a post office) with mother before we met father at National Airport coming back from a business trip. I remember the menacing clock being shown repeatedly.

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