Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Movie Review: High Noon (1952)

Thank you once again to the two lovely girls who are hosting this Legends of Western Cinema Week (and also incidentally two of my favorite people) Emma and Olivia!!! I almost didn't join in again, but as usual I'm glad I did!

So between Eva's and Olivia's reviews this film is practically the movie of this year's western week. I've even talked of my feelings for it here before (every word of which is still as true this moment!). Yet even so, folks, it is a train, which, with the Insp. bubbling with my pure love of the story, could not but bring me here. So here I am because I love it. I still remember standing in the church hallway going batty over the trailer for it literally years ago, and that bit of giddy delight which is all its own has never quite left me.

First of all, the theme song - the first panorama with its spectrum of simple western scenery, the first chords of the song, and - be still my heart - because it starts pounding madly every time I hear it.

A really neat fact is that this movie was filmed in real time as in the length of the story is the length of the movie and the tension which comes with that is as taut as might be expected.

Gary Cooper was well-known as a silent movie actor and oh is his talent ever shown here as Will Kane! I'm not sure if it was not he who first made the strong silent type my Ultimate Ideal, yet I do know that he is the measure to which I compare all other heroes I meet. Olivia mentioned that she thought he was very Christ-like in how he stood alone against evil with all the town deriding. I had never thought of it before but I totally concur. (Dear Olivia, you have my gratitude. :)) He tells the people, they think he is a fool, and he protects them anyway, even against their will. His entire character though is summed up in the line I always remember of my brother's (and which I've quoted on the blog before here actually), "He's a tough guy that doesn't have to prove it to anyone."

Amy seems to get a bad rap sometimes and it is so not fair, people! She is rather hard on Will at the beginning (how could she with him looking down at her like that?) However, I think the line that is somewhat slipped over and forgotten is the one where she tells Helen how her father and brother were shot and I really think that would color one's outlook on life, especially when it comes to your husband of 10 minutes. So altogether I think her emotions are terribly realistic. Besides which her running back scene is the BEST EVER!!! I get fireworks of tingles. Every. Single. Time.

And then there is the quiet hug, which one suspects might be a little trembly around the edges, and so the snapshot of their story ends, fading away with a touch of wistfulness which is also strangely satisfying as one's thoughts linger over it.

It's not flashy or fast-paced; it's rather simple, direct and made for savoring and lingering of the imagination. There are other westerns I love with almost equal passion, many that I even feel like watching more often than this, but it matters not, High Noon was the beginning for me and it will always be so.


  1. "Simple and direct and made for savoring and lingering of the imagination...." Sounds like a goodie. This is one I've LONG wanted to see, and your review has inspired me to go look for it. ;-)

    Thanks for your contribution to the week, Eowyn!

    1. Emma,
      Ah, goody! I hope you can soon!

      And thank you so much dear girl! It was my greatest pleasure! :)

  2. What a lovely review! And I'm SO glad you decided to join in the fun this year, as well :) AWW! I'm "one of your favorite people"? RIGHT BACK AT YOU, GIRL :D

    What a great review! And I'm glad my review didn't make you TOO angry…;-P I really did love Will's and Amy's relationship: I mean. CUTENESS ALERT.

    I think Amy sort of got the short end of the stick in this movie, in a way, but I agree that her coming back was super cool. And I also appreciate how they explained her quasi-pacifism through her backstory--like you said, how would any of US react if we were in a similar situation?

    1. Olivia,
      Oh, thank you so much, friend!

      Heehee, it didn't offend me a bit. I relish a good polite disagreement and I ADORE defending those I love, so it's all lovely. :)

      Cuteness Alert indeed! They ought to give a warning or something. :)

  3. As you know, I don't love this movie, but your review is SO beautiful! You make me want to love this story. :) I really want to re-watch this someday and review my thoughts on it.

    ps. I love the strong, silent kind of heroes, too!

    1. Natalie,
      I really appreciate you saying that about it almost changing your mind! It's one of the Ultimate Compliments. :)

      You will have to tell me some day who your favorite heroes are! So far we seem to share some already... I mean, Dude anyone??? :)

    2. Aww, well it's true! Your reviews are just so lovely. :)

      YES. I think we do share some. In fact, I've long had the idea of writing a "favorite heroes" post. Perhaps I should get around to doing that soon. :)

  4. Great review! Like Natalie, I don't love this movie, but to be honest, I haven't seen it in many, many years, so perhaps I should give it a fresh look. When I was like 11, it was one of my favorites, and I watched it so much that I kind of wore out my affection, I think. But you and Eva have me really wanting to see it again :-)

    1. Hamlette,
      Thank you! That is such a funny story about you when you were eleven! Usually I try to be very careful about that sort of thing, but I admit I've had it happen once or twice anyway. :) One of the things I love about TV shows is that if one does it right, you can get so much of your favorite characters in SO MANY different stories!


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