High Noon [DVD]
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
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 ...Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A CLASSIC! A 'must see' for any film enthusiast as shot in 'real time'.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
What can I say more. It is a a marvellous story and you can have the movie every Monday all the rear through, if were me.Published 3 months ago by kamal gupta
Another classic Western. The moral? Stick to your guns. People may ignore you then when you are proved right and they come crawling back.....just walk away with dignity.Published 3 months ago by E C LANE