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Is there any project more pointless than remaking a classic--especially one that's part of the national consciousness, not only a cinematic but also a moral and political touchstone? Director Rod Hardy has discouraged comparisons by eschewing almost everything that distinguished the original: the music, the theme song, the expressionistic camera angles and ticking clocks and metronomic cutting underscoring the real-time suspense. Enough of Carl Foreman's screenplay has been retained that he's credited as cowriter of the teleplay despite having died in 1984. But the urgency of that screenplay is missing--the underlying allegory of the conformism, betrayal, and fear of the blacklist that had the Hollywood community in a death grip. (Foreman himself was soon blacklisted.)
Tom Skerritt gets the marshal's dignity and exasperation but conveys none of the anguish and vulnerability that made Gary Cooper's heroism all the more moving. Otherwise the cast is a study in drabness: Susanna Thompson stiff and peevish in the Grace Kelly part, Reed Diamond a punk substitute for Lloyd Bridges as Kane's envious deputy, a cast of anonymous Canadians filling in blandly for a gallery of legendary character actors. Only Maria Conchita Alonso and Michael Madsen get within hailing distance of, respectively, Katy Jurado as Kane's former mistress and Ian MacDonald as the malevolent Frank Miller. --Richard T. Jameson
- Audio commentary
- Photo gallery
- 3 Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
- Video Interviews with Cast and Director
Top Customer Reviews
In my opinion, this movie is as good as the original. I love the original and I love this newer version also. To be sure, if you have seen the original, you do not need to see this one, because it is so similar... UNLESS, you really love the story and wand to see it again with different actors.
This newer version is no better than the original, but it is no worse either. It has the same quality as far as I am concerned. It's a great movie.... like the original it's well acted and the production is tops.
If you are one of those people who do not like remakes of classics, then that is fine, that is your preference. However, that does not take away from the product's quality. And, this product is a 5 star movie.
The story is austerely set in an Old West town, and is simple . . . the bad guy has been released from prison and is arriving on the noon train. He will seek revenge on the Marshal. The bad guy is bringing friends. Sounds pretty familiar. Add that the Marshal is a newlywed, and ready to retire. He also has an old flame in town. The townspeople love him but will not physically risk themselves to help him. The Marshal is facing this alone and has a bad feeling about his situation but is resolved to be faithful to his duty. It's a good story, but simple and puts a big load on the lead actor to pull it off well.
I'll go ahead and jump onboard the comparison wagon (everyone else has), and comment on this version as compared to the original. Reviewers are being really tough on this remake, but, my opinion . . . if you've never seen the original, you'll enjoy this. If you have already seen the original, you'll probably still enjoy this. A film remake analogy that comes to mind is the great, On the Beach, from Neville Shute's novel. The original was one of the greatest films of all time. The remake is a pretty good film.
This newer version is missing a few things - mainly Gary Cooper. It also lacks that classic music theme and the general ambiance of those great 40's/50's Hollywood westerns. On the upside, Tom Skerritt does a very good job of selling himself as an aging and vulnerable lawman ready to retire. Susanna Thompson was rather weak as the newlywed Quaker bride, but the rest of the supporting cast is adequate. Production values are moderately good and the set is believable with plenty of mud and general grunge that was lacking in the original.
It was a nice re-visit to a favorite old movie tale.
Skerritt plays just-retired, just-married Marshal Will Kane. He and his bride are informed that a man Kane put in the slammer years ago has been paroled; this owlhoot swore he'd kill Kane when he got out and he's coming in on the noon train. His henchmen are even waiting for him at the train station. Kane and his bride are encouraged to flee for their lives and start their new life together. Why not? -- he's not even a sheriff anymore. But the new Marshal won't arrive for another day or so and something in Kane prevents him from running like a cur with his tail between his legs. He has about an hour and fifteen minutes to marshal up help to make a stand. In addition to all this, his wife is a Quaker who doesn't believe in violence and threatens to leave him if he insists on staying and fighting.
One interesting facet of this Western is that the story plays out in real time. The film runs 88 minutes and Marshal Kane has just over an hour to prepare for the confrontation.
Skerritt does a good job depicting an aging man who is about to face a fight-to-the-death, most likely alone. I'm sure Marshal Kane has better things to do, like enjoy his honeymoon with his beautiful wife (Sussanna Thompson), but his manhood and sense of duty force him to courageously make a stand. This reminds me of times back in High School where I was scheduled to fight someone (after school or whatever). I knew at such-and-such time I was going to face so-and-so and a bunch of people would be watching. The anticipation wasn't fun but my manhood wouldn't let me back down.Read more ›
I really enjoy the additions that get added to VHS that cover Scenes,Location,,Production and Interviews with the Producer,Director and Actors.;and in this case ,they are an excellent explanation and addition to the movie.
As the people who made this movie said,"The original version is a classic and even better.We didn't set out to make a better movie,just a different version.I fully agree that they accomplished what they set out to do.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is a good remake of the original.
If you have seen the original, it won't disappoint.
If you haven't, it's a good western in itself.
It won't please everybody, and I know that. Many will compare it to the original. But this one works. Read morePublished on June 2, 2012 by John Wright
I wanted to see this because, essentially, it's a good story: A man fights for what is right despite the ambivalence of a town and the betrayal of beliefs by the... Read more
I don't recall seeing the original version of this movie, so I am judging this movie on it's own merit. Read morePublished on May 21, 2010 by Daniel R. Degenhardt
I was a huge fan of the original movie, and I went into this one expecting something different. Some sort of new twist or perspective. Read morePublished on August 2, 2005 by B. C. Giles
I saw this DVD in the bargain bin at my local Wal-Mart for $4.99. At that price, and being a big fan of the original, I was intrigued. Read morePublished on October 21, 2004 by The Horseman
In fact, don't even think about it. That's the advice someone should have given to the producers of this remake. The original "High Noon" is a movie that cannot be improved upon. Read morePublished on August 18, 2004 by Edward Wright