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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Will Kane will go out there at noon and die, and this town will die with him"
The greatest and best Western ever made, beautifully dark, real and with almost all of the usually prevalent adventurous and romantic John Wayne style removed. This is a thrilling, emotional and yet truthfully simple film that is directed with all the tense skill that Zinnemann would go on to show in 'Day of the Jackal'. The plot builds and builds in suspense, and while...
Published on 14 Nov 2006 by Mr. S. E. C. Norman

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73 of 79 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars GREAT FILM, DREADFUL DVD
Please be warned: as great a film as this is (and it’s a gem) the actual DVD is dreadful. Picture quality is on a par with a video – blurry and very dark. Sound quality is not much better. But worst of all, there are sudden black-outs between scenes that appear about 4-5 times throughout the film. These are very poorly done and sudden and do not appear on the...
Published on 5 Feb 2004 by B. Bagnall


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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Will Kane will go out there at noon and die, and this town will die with him", 14 Nov 2006
By 
Mr. S. E. C. Norman "pink52" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: High Noon [DVD] (DVD)
The greatest and best Western ever made, beautifully dark, real and with almost all of the usually prevalent adventurous and romantic John Wayne style removed. This is a thrilling, emotional and yet truthfully simple film that is directed with all the tense skill that Zinnemann would go on to show in 'Day of the Jackal'. The plot builds and builds in suspense, and while Cooper and Kelly expertly perform the pitiful roles of Kane and his bride that gain our empathy, the other townfolk demonstrate a contrasting cruel cowardice that is just...genuine.

The skill of the acting and direction and stark bleakness of the plot, mixed with a heady infusion of true love and goodness, gives it a reality that puts it above more romantic views of the West such as 'Stagecoach' and 'Rio Bravo'. 'The Searchers', 'Shane' and Eastwood's recent effort 'Unforgiven' come close to reproducing this, but it will take a real act of perfection to tumble 'High Noon' from its pedestal. I salute you!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic western, 26 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: High Noon [DVD] (DVD)
This is an exceptional western: an exceptional film. It follows the three classical unities of time, place and theme: it takes place in 'real' time; the action is centred on the town and its environs; there are no sub-plots to detract from the main story. Tightly controlled and acted. A great credit to Fred Zinnemann and his team.
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73 of 79 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars GREAT FILM, DREADFUL DVD, 5 Feb 2004
By 
B. Bagnall (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: High Noon [DVD] (DVD)
Please be warned: as great a film as this is (and it’s a gem) the actual DVD is dreadful. Picture quality is on a par with a video – blurry and very dark. Sound quality is not much better. But worst of all, there are sudden black-outs between scenes that appear about 4-5 times throughout the film. These are very poorly done and sudden and do not appear on the region 1 release. I suspect they are fade-outs for commercials!
If you have a multi-region DVD player then check out the Region 1 version (not the Collectors Edition) for the best picture quality. The difference is amazing.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The tin star in the dust, 5 Feb 2004
By 
Dennis Littrell (SoCal) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This is the quintessential Hollywood western. It will continue to represent the genre for many decades to come.
It stars Gary Cooper, one of the most beloved of leading men who personified soft-spoken heroic courage in scores of important films, including Beau Geste (1939), The Pride of the Yankees (1942), Along Came Jones (1945), The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955), etc., and Grace Kelly in her debut role. Directed by Fred Zinneman, whose credits include From Here to Eternity (1953), A Man for All Seasons (1966), Julia (1977) and a dozen more, High Noon tells the story of Will Kane, a small town marshal who, on his wedding day faces a man just let out of prison with three of his outlaw friends who are aiming to get revenge for his being sent up.
The enduring image of the film is Gary Cooper walking tall in the deserted streets of the town in a black Western hat, a black vest, long-sleeved white shirt, black string necktie, watch chain, boots, and low slung holster and two belts, while off to the side inside the wooden buildings we see "that big hand move along, nearin' high noon--which is when the train arrives carrying the freed prisoner.
Will Kane has cleaned up the town, but now the gunslingers return and he is their target. His wife of less than an hour (Kelly) demands that he leave town. The town itself, in fear of the gunmen, also wants him to leave town, hoping to take the fight away from them. He tries to recruit deputies but everyone is afraid. Even his lone deputy (Lloyd Bridges) deserts him. In the background is Dimitri Tiomkin's haunting ballad, sung by Tex Ritter: "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling (On This Our Wedding Day)." Both Cooper and the song won Oscars. Noteworthy was the fine performance by Kay Jurado as ... Ramirez, Cane's ex, a shrewd barroom lady and proprietress.
What is interesting about the moral conflict (from the story, "The Tin Star" as interpreted for film by screenwriter Carl Foreman), that of facing your enemy rather than running, is that Kane's rationale is logical. If he runs they will only come after him again and again. Only two people get this, Kane and Ramirez. The larger moral issue of whether to fight to defend yourself (Grace Kelly is cast as a Quaker and does not believe in killing) is resolved during the climatic shootout by Grace Kelly's character herself in a manner that did not set well with Quakers.
How well does this black and white classic Western play today? The towns people seem cliches and the outlaws are quickly drawn, but Gary Cooper as Will Kane seems entirely believable, admirable, heroic in the best sense of the term as a man who knows the dangers, feels the fear, and yet must act, and he does. He is no shallow, two-fisted, machine-gun hero so often seen in Hollywood productions, but a man of maturity whose "grace under pressure" (a fine definition of courage) tells us and himself who he really is.
See this for Gary Cooper whose "slow-talking, slow-walking," (lyrics from the Coaster's hit song from the fifties, "Along Came Jones"), and soft-spoken heroics delighted and enthralled a couple of generations of film-goers.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic in every sense, 23 Jan 2007
By 
hillbank68 "almac1975" (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: High Noon [DVD] (DVD)
This film is absolutely marvellous, almost faultless. Against the advice of everyone and at great personal risk, a man - Gary Cooper, who is wonderful - stays true to himself and faces the Miller gang. If he turns away from his destiny, his life's work goes for nothing. If he faces it, he loses his new wife (Grace Kelly) and possibly his life as well. So it seems, but the film has some surprises to spring. No-one of note stands by him, though one or two, touchingly, try. The film is full of beautifully shot scenes, Cooper is mesmerising and the rest of a fine cast never let him down - and there is extra atmosphere from the haunting little cowboy song called, 'Do not Foresake me O my Darling'. This really is one of the classics of American cinema, one of the best of all Westerns, and well worth seeing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Noon (blu-ray by Olive Films), 30 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: High Noon: 60th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] [1952] [US Import] (Blu-ray)
The 'Product details' and 'Product description' sections give conflicting information - region A (ie US only) and 'region free' so I hesitated before ordering. In practice I had no problem with the disc and the blu-ray transfer of this superb film is wonderful.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sustains the suspense, 28 Oct 2008
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: High Noon [DVD] (DVD)
If you have never seen High Noon then it is most certainly time that you did. This is a very fine suspense Western. The story concerns a Town Marshall, Will Kane portrayed by Gary Cooper and his increasingly desperate attempts to enlist the help of unwilling townspeople to stand against a gang of vengeance seeking killers who are shortly to descend on the town. The film was directed by Fred Zinneman who was not noted for his Westerns, unless you count Oklahoma. Zinneman uses the artful device of real time to crank up the suspense as we are constantly shown the ticking clock. The film was made in black and white which adds to the starkness and realism of the film.

The film opens with the bad guys meeting up and starting their long ride into town accompanied by the terrific Tex Ritter track memorably beating out in the background. The Ned Washington lyrics were a perfect accompaniment to the mood of the film. The song deservedly won for best song at the Academy Awards. It also introduces a very young Lee Van Cleef to the moviegoing public. It is a startling sequence and one of the more memorable openings in movie history. Cooper is excellent as Will Kane a man struggling to contain his demons, a role which earned him a best actor at the Academy Awards. Although struggling against the tide he refuses to drown. Despite the possible fatal consequences he is a man who will not shirk his responsibilities.

Cooper was said to be ill during the making of the film which may explain his very gaunt appearance. Grace Kelly plays his very pretty young bride who transpires to be his only help. Lon Chaney jnr, Katy Jurado, Thomas Mitchell and Lloyd Bridges provide strong support.
The film was made in 1952 and is groundbreaking in providing a gritty realism seldom seen in Westerns of the period. Heroes were not usually so angst ridden and the bad guys were not gunned down in the usual formulaic style of that genre. It is a desperate struggle against the odds and Kane needs all the help he can get which turns out to be little.

The film and its director were accused of being anti American in that none of the townsfolk went to the sheriffs assistance, and in the final gesture at the end of the film where Kane throws the badge of his authority into the dirt. And who could blame him for that. Would a town totally abandon its law abiding sheriff in his hour of need? Having held a position where I had to uphold the law, I would personally prefer to think not. Nowadays it is fashionable to make anti establishment gestures. Times have changed. The film was made in a spare 21 days, on a small budget and the script was partly written by the blacklisted Carl Foreman, just before his London exile which may have lent some credence to the anti American theory at that time.

So hats off to Fred Zinneman for making such a well crafted and original Western. This is an excellent addition to the collection of any serious Western afficienado.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High time you bought this film, 22 Jan 2004
This review is from: High Noon [DVD] (DVD)
'High Noon' is an absolute masterpiece. I am not a great fan of black and white films but I am a great fan of westerns and this film blew me away. There is no doubt that this is one of the best westerns ever made. The acting is excellent but it is the suspense that makes this film. By the end you'll be pissing yourself with excitement as the film slowly builds to the inevitable climax. However, if you buy this film hoping for the usual gun slinging, brave hero with a band of friends, western you will be disappointed.
This western definitely stands out from the crowd for its realism. Our hero, the sheriff, comes back to town after he hears about a notorious outlaw coming in on the next train. However, he comes back to a town where he isn't wanted. Hoping to raise a band of companions to help him fight the menace he finds himself left alone. In this film everyone's a coward and even Gary Cooper (the sheriff) admits his fear and almost leaves before it's to late. As time ticks by and the train pulls closer to the station you'll find yourself trembling with excitement.
If you're looking for a brilliant new addition to your DVD collection then 'High Noon' could be just what you're looking for and I would definitely recommend the product to anyone who is a fan of the genre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Try a different version, 1 April 2014
By 
John Gammon (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: High Noon [DVD] (DVD)
Great film of course, but this package is somewhat disappointing for one selling itself as a special edition. The movie is supposed to be a redigitalised print, but there is a better print available on DVD and in the original format. Also, this one seems to have several fadeouts, which don't exist in the usual print, and these, apart from taking out some frames from the movie, interfere with the real-time action.

Apart from the trailer, the best extra is an informative short documentary hosted by film writer Leonard Maltin. Unfortunately there's a "filmography", which simply precis what Maltin's already said. Two galleries of images - one set of stills, one set of posters - have just been thrown together in a small panel with little regard for legibility or order, and are quite tricky for the viewer to negotiate. The most annoying aspect is the subtitling, which is appalling in the case of the Maltin documentary and sloppy in the movie itself - very sad for such a classic film.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is just a dirty little village in the middle of nowhere. Nothing that happens here is really important., 1 Mar 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: High Noon [DVD] (DVD)
Will Kane (Gary Cooper) is a retiring lawman all set to leave the town of Hadleyville with his new bride Amy (Grace Kelly). But word comes that a notorious gunslinger he put in prison has been released and is heading to town with his gang intent on bloody revenge. With a sense of fearless duty Kane decides to stay and sets about enlisting a posse, however, he finds that nobody in the town that he made safe for everyone will aid him in his mission.

The 1950s saw a big shift in styles for the American Western. After the yee-haw Cowboy Vs Indians excess of the 40s, the decade was ushered in by such film's as Broken Arrow. Showing the Indians in a sympathetic light, Broken Arrow also showed that clearly Westerns had much more to offer than frothy shoot them up entertainment. Which brings us to High Noon, a black and white Oater that landed in 1952 and is still today revered as a quintessential classic Western. Which is not bad considering there's no gun-play here until the last five minutes of its 85 minute running time.

What makes High Noon so significant is that it's not a big movie in terms of production. There's no reams of extras dashing around in glorious Technicolor, no sprawling vistas inhabited by colourful characters, this is pretty understated stuff. Yet thematically it's as big as it gets, a lesson in character drama where not a frame is wasted. From it's unforgettable opening of three bad men (Lee Van Cleef, Robert Wilkie, Sheb Wooley) waiting at the station while Tex Ritter's ballad explains the plot, to the now legendary and iconic ending, High Noon simmers with suspense and intensity as the story unravels. All told in real time too.

Based on a short story called The Tin Star written by John W. Cunningham, High Noon is directed metronomically by Fred Zinnermann and is shot in high contrast by cinematographer Floyd Crosby. Thus the film has a documentary feel to it, giving it an authentic edge so rarely seen in the Western genre. The piece is further boosted by the performance of Cooper. Winning the Oscar for best male performance, Cooper was 50 years old and into his third decade as a movie star. His prancing around in Western days reducing by the month, yet High Noon shows it to be one of the finest casting decisions made in the 50s. In agony from a back injury and other ailments during the shoot, Cooper carries the movie with brilliant sincerity, conveying the pain of a man now alone as he trundles towards doom. The realisation is that all his heroism and graft that made Hadleyville a safe place for women and children to live, now counts for nothing, it's a heavy weight on Kane's shoulders. It's here where Cooper excels, there's no histrionics or drawn out speeches, it's thru expressions and body movements that the story gains its emotional momentum. A remarkable turn from a remarkable actor, proof positive that you didn't need a dashing leading man to propel your movie.

The film notoriously angered Howard Hawks & John Wayne, its themes and its perceived allegory for blacklisting a bone of contention that led to them making Rio Bravo as a riposte in 1959. There's many an essay on High Noon and its links to Senator Joe McCarthy, HUAC etc etc, so really I have no interest in going there. Instead I think it's just fitting to say that Zinnermann himself always resisted talking in terms of allegorical interpretations for his film. He, rightly so, felt to do that would be unfair and dampen the huge significance of his wonderful movie.

Amen to that. 10/10
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