3-4. An absolutely scathing indictment of the cowardice of a number of American institutions (the church, the law, etc.), as a lawful man's faith in the system he spent his life serving is gradually destroyed. It's more interesting in its political context, but plenty interesting on its own with the way it low-key bucks sexism and racism, while casting the archetypes of the western into shades of gray.
An archetypal western in many ways, but also a unique one. You’ve got all the tropes: good sheriff must defend the town, shootouts, etc., but there’s also an interesting flip in that the sheriff has to fight as much with his pride as he does with the forces of evil in the west.
The truth is - I never care whether this movie is an allegory of 1950's blacklisting (or red scare). HIGH NOON is indeed a masterpiece western from director Fred Zinnemann. Gary Cooper played Kane perfectly. Kane maybe a representation of us who always help people, when we need them most they didn't care about us. Not to mention the timeless beauty of Grace Kelly as Kane's wife. Shame, I just saw it a few days ago...
It's a perfect film. The pacing is perfection. What I like most about it is how it caused such an uproar when it came out. "Americans would never be cowards!" And of course being made in the 1950's it's an allegory on blacklisting, and the writer was blacklisted shortly after it came out.
I debated myself as to whether this was an average film due to feeling like I needed to know more about the back story of the villains and their relationship with the hero. Or, was it an above average film due to the suspense it creates and the fine character studies it presents as to what makes a hero vs what is the voice of reason vs what is flat out cowardice. The latter point prevailed. 4 Stars.
"Don't shove me Harv. I'm tired of being shoved." - Marshall Will Kane Gary Cooper as the law abiding, dutiful marshall who is abandoned by the very same town he is sworn to protect. Watch it for the cooper's potrayal of will kane's frustation/anger, his conflict of conscience and also for the interesting title song played during the course of the movie composed by Dimitri Tiomkin and sung by Tex Ritter
Very well made portrayal of the loneliness of taking a stand. It's easy to see how historically the film has been championed from both the political left and right as Cooper portrays such an attractive existential hero: a man desperately striving to find moral courage while constantly finding himself on the cusp of collapse.