Fred Zinnemann directs this classic western starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. A just-married and newly retired small town sheriff, Will Kane (Cooper), stays on the job one more day in order to face up to a vengeful outlaw due to arrive on the noon train. As the clock slowly ticks towards the appointed hour, Kane realises he must also contend with the objections of his pacifist Quaker bride (Kelly) and the indifference of the townsfolk, who are willing to sacrifice him to ensure their own safety. The film received seven Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Director and won four with Cooper picking up the Best Actor award.
One of the greatest Westerns ever made gets the deluxe treatment on this superior disc. Written by Carl Foreman (who was later blacklisted during the anticommunist hearings of the 1950s) and superbly directed by Fred Zinnemann, this 1952 classic stars Gary Cooper as just-married lawman Will Kane, who is about to retire as a small-town sheriff and begin a new life with his bride (Grace Kelly) when he learns that gunslinger Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald) is due to arrive at high noon to settle an old score. Kane seeks assistance from deputies and townsfolk, but soon realises he will have to stand alone in his showdown with Miller and his henchmen. Innovative for its time, the suspenseful story unfolds in approximate real time (from 10:40 a.m. to high noon in an 84-minute film), and many interpreted Foreman's drama as an allegorical reflection of apathy and passive acceptance of Senator Joseph McCarthy's anticommunist campaign. Political underpinnings aside, this remains a milestone of its genre (often referred to as the first "adult" Western), and Cooper is flawless in his Oscar-winning role. The first-rate DVD gives this landmark film all the respect it deserves, beginning with a digitally remastered transfer from the original film negative. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
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