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High Noon

PG Released Jul 24, 1952 1h 25m Western List
94% Tomatometer 90 Reviews 89% Audience Score 25,000+ Ratings
Former marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) is preparing to leave the small town of Hadleyville, New Mexico, with his new bride, Amy (Grace Kelly), when he learns that local criminal Frank Miller has been set free and is coming to seek revenge on the marshal who turned him in. When he starts recruiting deputies to fight Miller, Kane is discouraged to find that the people of Hadleyville turn cowardly when the time comes for a showdown, and he must face Miller and his cronies alone. Read More Read Less
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High Noon

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Critics Consensus

A classic of the Western genre that broke with many of the traditions at the time, High Noon endures -- in no small part thanks to Gary Cooper's defiant, Oscar-winning performance.

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Critics Reviews

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Kate Cameron New York Daily News Not since My Darling Clementine have we seen a more exciting gun battle on the screen than that in High Noon. Rated: 3.5/4 Sep 20, 2022 Full Review Newsweek Staff Newsweek Add a string of plausible characterizations and an excellent performance by Gary Cooper as a former town marshal, and High Noon moves up into the class of absorbing drama. Sep 20, 2022 Full Review Richard L. Coe Washington Post This gives us some time-tested staples: Gary Cooper, a pioneer Western town, lawlessness, gun-shootin' and a haunting theme song you've probably heard already. To these add a movie rarity -- a mature point of view. Sep 20, 2022 Full Review Danielle Solzman Solzy at the Movies High Noon is not only one of the best Western films of all time but changed the way people viewed the Western genre. Rated: 5/5 May 7, 2024 Full Review André Bazin L'Obs (France) Without question, this is one of the three best westerns since Stagecoach (the other two being The Westerner and My Darling Clementine). But my admiration for it is not without qualification. Oct 4, 2022 Full Review Edward Porter Sunday Times (UK) Fred Zinnemann’s film generates suspense — and stark social commentary... Oct 4, 2022 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Merick H A simple story, beautifully executed with great characters. An excellent western with gripping suspense and compelling moments, all building up to a satisfying climax. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/03/24 Full Review Narciso R Perfect, exactly what you'd expect from people when push comes to shove. Well rounded movie, great cast, great acting. NRJ. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/19/24 Full Review Jack F Hadleyville, June 1865, a just married, and retiring Marshall (Gary Cooper), stands alone in the fight of his life against four killers, looking for revenge, who are coming in on the noon train. A very simple, simple story of how a town betrays the man who has been their backbone for many years, and how he decides to stay and fight, with or without his new bride (Grace Kelly), and regardless of an almost certain suicidal circumstance. The timing of this movie and its story is remarkable. During the early 1950s the house of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was in full stride, and Hollywood was its main focus. Many people were blacklisted from the industry during these hearings, including High Noon screenwriter, Carl Foreman, for not revealing names of the so-called communist sympathizers. Ironically, Foreman's script is symbolically a gesture of what he was all about: a man that must do what is necessary, even if he is alone in his fight for what is right. Aside from the controversy, this classic western was similar to most others, as it has that same good va. evil storyline. However, it has that something that keeps us watching the movie over and over and over again after all these years. Yes, the acting is first rate, especially Cooper in his Oscar winning performance. The western feeling is palpable, assisted by the haunting score of Dimitri Tiomkin, as well as the brilliant editing by Elmo Williams. But one thing stand out above all the rest: it's simplicity. This movie has captured something that brings us into the picture and onto the dirt roads and grimy saloon of Hadleyville. Firstly, the running time at approximately 85 minutes is an exact correspondence to the actual story time. This gives us a sense of realism. We experience the attention our hero, Will Kane, feels as noon approaches. Secondly, the call of duty aspect may seem ridiculous in today's times, however, if our hero didn't stay, it would've eaten him alive and inevitably he would have returned some other day. And finally, the ending is justified as each person in the film, including all the residents of Hadleyville, get what they deserve, and especially the viewer, as we are witness to a simple yet extremely satisfying piece of motion picture art. There are many great American westerns in cinematic history … High Noon, even with its simplicity, stands among the greatest. 9.5/10 Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/09/24 Full Review Joel H High Noon is a unique Western film. It stands out among the crowd because of its powerful story and its thought-provoking themes. Running almost in real time, this intense drama keeps you on the edge of your seat because the viewer, much like Marshal Will Kane, is stressing about the time that keeps ticking away. Plus, Gary Cooper gives us a protagonist that we can relate to. If you're expecting a fast-paced action flick, then this movie may disappoint you. However, if you're wanting to see an intriguing film about doing what you believe is right, even when no one will, be sure to catch High Noon. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 11/03/23 Full Review Blobbo X How many 22 year old beauties marry guys in fifties? Blobbo not know, but happen all time in Hollywood! Ridiculous. Other than that well done. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 09/07/23 Full Review Matthew B One of the more fascinating aspects of High Noon is the many different perceptions that people have of it, some of them wrong. High Noon seems like a simplistic western, compared with the revisionist contributions to the genre by Sergio Leone or Sam Peckinpah, or even the tough contemporary westerns of Anthony Mann and Robert Aldrich. The story seems to be an archetypal representation of good fighting bad, with the lone marshal deserted by friends and townsfolk, and left to make a stand against evil alone. The villains are lawless criminals, and nothing more. Marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) is the honourable lawman of integrity, and just that. Good and evil are clear-cut. Closer inspection reveals that the film's message is less absolute and more elusive than it first appears. Even the style of the film is deceiving. The film is famously told in real time with no flashbacks, the action covering a space of time that roughly approximates to the length of the film. We should not however be fooled by this. The movie is not precisely edited to match the time scale involved, as this would be too constricting. The script was written by Carl Foreman, a former Communist who was being questioned by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) at the time, and who would eventually leave America after he refused to name other Communists, and was blacklisted for being uncooperative. John Wayne complained that Kane was weak for wandering the town asking for help, instead of doing their job themselves, as happened in Rio Bravo. In actual fact, Wayne's hero in that film receives a good deal of help from others, whether he refuses it or not. Curiously the left-wing Foreman wrote a script in which most of the characters are individuals who are out for themselves (a world-view more often associated with the right) whilst the conservative Howard Hawks directed a film in which adversity is overcome when the townsfolk work together, even at the point of risking their own lives (an optimistic view of human nature more often associated with the left). High Noon did well at the box office, and was nominated for seven Oscars, four of which it won. The movie has found favour with people of all political persuasions. Presidents from both parties have named it as a favourite film, and perhaps seen their own lonely role as synonymous with that of Will Kane. This reflects the fact that there are universal themes here about struggling with one's internal conscience, and doing the right thing, even when others tell you not to do it. There are conservative elements in High Noon. Its hero is not a rebel, but an upholder of the establishment against disruptive outsiders. He is a tough man – witness the scene where he almost strikes a child who talks back at him. His solution to the problem that he faces is to use violence and force, because he considers that it is acceptable to kill people who threaten the existing order. I wrote a longer appreciation of High Noon (with spoilers) on my blog page if you would like to read more: https://themoviescreenscene.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/high-noon-1952/ Rated 5 out of 5 stars 08/24/23 Full Review Read all reviews
High Noon

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Cast & Crew

The Comancheros 100% 75% The Comancheros Hondo 90% 74% Hondo TRAILER for Hondo The Good Guys and the Bad Guys 17% 28% The Good Guys and the Bad Guys Wild Rovers 60% 46% Wild Rovers Joe Kidd 80% 54% Joe Kidd Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis Former marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) is preparing to leave the small town of Hadleyville, New Mexico, with his new bride, Amy (Grace Kelly), when he learns that local criminal Frank Miller has been set free and is coming to seek revenge on the marshal who turned him in. When he starts recruiting deputies to fight Miller, Kane is discouraged to find that the people of Hadleyville turn cowardly when the time comes for a showdown, and he must face Miller and his cronies alone.
Director
Fred Zinnemann
Producer
Stanley Kramer
Screenwriter
John W. Cunningham, Carl Foreman
Distributor
United Artists, Criterion Collection, Republic Pictures
Production Co
Stanley Kramer Company
Rating
PG (Some Western Violence|Smoking)
Genre
Western
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Jul 24, 1952, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Jan 1, 2011
Runtime
1h 25m
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