I have always been keen to give High Noon a watch. I am aware that it is a Western favoured amongst the genre, and I believe it is a film I might like.
I don’t tend to watch many Westerns – it certainly isn’t my favourite genre – but it is one that I am starting to get into. And in order to get the best out of my journey, I believe it is good to try out films that are supposedly the top titles.
Let’s see if this one lives up to the praise it gets.
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. Of all the times to go on your honeymoon!
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.
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) Quigley 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!
Thank you for taking the time to read this post about High Noon. For more posts, check out the recommended reads below.
- How many Magnificent Seven movies are there?
- The Mandalorian: A journey of integrity
- Review: Birds of Prey