High Noon: 60th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]
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This a true classic, combining traditional Western themes with contemporary concerns about popular acquiescence to evil, done in a gripping, unusual (nearly real-time) way, with great actors.
Town marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) is caught between his new pacifist Quaker wife Amy (Grace Kelly) and a felt duty to face down evil men coming on the noon train to take revenge on him (and presumably cause whatever other trouble they please). Most of the drama takes place in the lead-up to a climactic battle, as the townspeople choose whether to support Kane with action or to let him stand alone. Amy too must choose between her spouse and her own moral beliefs. The tension builds relentlessly as we see clocks ticking towards noon. The innovative black and white cinematography emphasizes the dramatic points, while the internal drama is captured in Cooper's face.Read more ›
It was that good and more. "High Noon" was not really a Western as the genre had been defined to that point. It was more of a character study of the human condition. It just happened to be set in the American West. Westerns at that time were action films with white hats and black hats. There were fistfights and gunfights throughout the entire film. They clearly differentiated good guys, on the side of justice and righteousness, from bad guys who spurned laws and sneered at those who obeyed them. The heroes were always noble and fearless, typified by actors like John Wayne and Roy Rogers. Moreover, the good guys always stuck together, despite all odds, to prevail against the outlaws.
"High Noon" was the complete antithesis of this formula. Kane is a flawed hero who is proud to a fault. Although it is clear who the villain is, we never see him until the last ten minutes of the film. The story is not about good and evil in the larger sense. Instead, it is about conviction and integrity on a personal level. Kane is portrayed as stubbornly putting his own feelings above the safety of the town. He stands against everyone, willing to sacrifice his marriage, his friendships, his good name and his life for his honor and self-respect. The biggest departure from the formula was his unabashed manifestations of fear.Read more ›
Cooper's performance is brilliant and he thoroughly deserved his Oscar for this film. People confuse courage with having no fear which is a mistake. Courage is doing the right thing especially when you are afraid and to do so the more afraid that you are, the more courageous you are. To have no fear ever is not courage but insanity. I especially love the part when Cooper admits to Bridges that he was afraid and yet continued to do the right thing. There are lots of lessons here that we can all learn that are timeless and for this reason, this film will continue to be a classic and relevant for ages to come.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you somehow missed this classic, watch it, even if you don't like westerns. It's Gary Cooper at his absolute best. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Robert Hagedorn
Lots to think about! Wonderful black and white movie steeped in principle! Not trite.Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
This was a BR upgrade for me. There are no additions to te the DVD "extras" on this disk. The BR quality is good with crisp B&W contrast. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Michael Berry
This film reminded me of the early westerns with Clint Eastwood, the only problem is Gary Cooper is no Clint Eastwood. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Jim P