High Noon

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(1952) ★★★★★

Film4: Tuesday 22 September, 2.55pm

On retiring marshal Gary Cooper’s wedding day, the whole town turns its back at the news of approaching gunmen. To his fiancée’s dismay, he straps on his six-shooters to face the bad guys alone. This rigidly structured western – the action takes place between10.40am and noon, corresponding with the film’s running time – has become a classic thanks to strong performances (Cooper won an Oscar), tightly shot showdowns in the deserted streets and Dimitri Tiomkin’s haunting theme song sung by Tex Ritter.

Grace Kelly is the Quaker lass who nearly forsakes her darling. Also making a notable debut, hatchet-faced henchman Lee Van Cleef, in a film widely interpreted as political allegory in the Cold War Hollywood witchhunt era. Ironic, since Cooper was an inflexible anti-Red. Howard Hawks’ 1958 classic Rio Bravo (TCM at 5.05pm) was John Wayne’s mocking response, by which time High Noonscriptwriter Carl Foreman was exiled in London. An uncredited contributor to The Bridge on the River Kwai, Foreman later wrote The Guns of Navarone, The Victors, and Born Free.

Certificate: U

Duration: 85min

IMDB – High Noon

TMDB – High Noon

Rotten Tomatoes – High Noon

Other Showings Time & Date
Film4 Monday, 28 September at 1:10PM