This collection of posts is a follow-up to 90 from the ’90s. However, while I previously focused on films from the 1990s, this time around I’m widening the field to cover any movie from any decade.
I’m going to watch good films, bad films, forgotten classics, Oscar winners and everything in between. Today I’m watching…
High Noon (1952)
High Noon is one of the oldest films on my ‘to watch’ list. I’ve not viewed it previously as it is as a Western and generally speaking, I don’t tend to watch many Westerns.
However, I have always been keen to give High Noon a watch. I am aware that it is favoured amongst the genre, and I believe it is a film I might like.
Let’s see, shall we?
3mins – Three strangers on horseback have arrived in town. This can’t end well. I’m going to hazard a guess that they are going to create some havoc for the locals. It’s what strangers do.
5mins 30secs – Everyone seems to be scared of these characters, but they seem to be keeping themselves to themselves. What could possibly go wrong?
8mins – The town marshal – Gary Cooper – has just handed in his badge and is due to go on his honeymoon with Grace Kelly, leaving the town without its main law enforcer. Oh dear.
14mins – Oh wait, Gary Cooper has returned to town! It turns out that the three guys are old enemies of Cooper’s and he needs to kick their asses.
15mins – Grace Kelly is not happy about coming back to town. She’s not one for ass kicking.
24mins – You know, I recognise the actor who plays the town’s Deputy Marshal. Why do I recognise him?
*Heads to Google*
According to Google, the Deputy Marshal in High Noon is played by Lloyd Bridges. Hmm… Lloyd Bridges. Lloyd Bridges. Oh, Lloyd BRIDGES – the father of Jeff and Beau Bridges! Yep, I can totally see the family resemblance now! That has been bugging me for the past five minutes.
35mins – Realising the odds are stacked against him, Gary Cooper is trying to round up some men to fight his enemies. He’s not having much luck.
42mins – Cooper has gone to church to recruit people, but it’s a no-go here too. What is wrong with these people? Are they not ready to strap on a gun and potentially get shot to pieces?! Oh… yeah, I don’t think I would be either. Shame for Cooper though, as no one is stepping up to help him.
1hr – There’s roughly twenty minutes to go in this movie (it’s a short film) and with the exception of a scuffle in a barn, there is practically no action in this picture. I find this both surprising and refreshing. With no one willing to stand with Cooper this film has become quite an emotional piece, with more depth than I expected.
1hr 7mins – Right, it’s high noon and shit is about to kick off.
1hr 12mins – Gary Cooper v A Gang of Bad Guys™.
1hr 13mins – I’m going to presume that Cooper gets the drop on his enemies. He has to, right? The film can’t spend an hour showing him out-gunned then have him lose at the last minute.
1hr 15mins – So far, so good. Cooper is standing his ground.
1hr 19mins – Grace Kelly has just shot one of the bad guys, leaving just one to go.
1hr 20mins – Bang! The final bad guy is dead. Hurrah! And now here come the townsfolk to celebrate.
1hr 21mins – Cooper has just tossed his badge on the floor. It’s a big ‘F’ you to the townsfolk who did nothing to support him. You tell ’em, Cooper!
The shoot-out at the end was a bit anticlimactic, but the build up was good. High Noon is not an action-orientated movie, yet what it lacks in fisticuffs it sure makes up for in storytelling.
Not bad. Not bad at all.
High Noon is now on my list of Westerns that I actually like, alongside The Searchers (1956), The Magnificent Seven (1960) Quiggley Down Under (1990) and Unforgiven (1992). I’m happy to take suggestions of other Westerns that I might like, so pop them into the comments section please.
A ‘thumbs up’ for High Noon!
If you want to check out my posts on other previously unseen films then dive into Xanadu (1980), When A Stranger Calls (1979), The Sitter (1977), A Night at the Roxbury (1998), The Dark Crystal (1982), Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (1985), Super (2010), When Harry Met Sally (1989), What We Do in the Shadows (2014), Shin Godzilla (2016), and Road House (1989).
Read: Part 13