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High Noon (1952)

PG  |   |  Drama, Thriller, Western  |  30 July 1952 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 71,264 users   Metascore: 89/100
Reviews: 324 user | 146 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

A marshall, personally compelled to face a returning deadly enemy, finds that his own town refuses to help him.

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(screenplay), (magazine story "The Tin Star")
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Title: High Noon (1952)

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Top 250 #216 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Martin Howe (as Lon Chaney)
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Sam Fuller (as Henry Morgan)
Ian MacDonald ...
Eve McVeagh ...
Morgan Farley ...
Harry Shannon ...
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Jim Pierce (as Robert Wilke)
Sheb Wooley ...
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Storyline

On the day he gets married and hangs up his badge, lawman Will Kane is told that a man he sent to prison years before, Frank Miller, is returning on the noon train to exact his revenge. Having initially decided to leave with his new spouse, Will decides he must go back and face Miller. However, when he seeks the help of the townspeople he has protected for so long, they turn their backs on him. It seems Kane may have to face Miller alone, as well as the rest of Miller's gang, who are waiting for him at the station... Written by Man_With_No_Name_126

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a man who was too proud to run. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some western violence, and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 July 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A la hora señalada  »

Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Among other accomplishments, the film was a milestone in scoring. It introduced the idea of a theme song to be marketed separately from the movie, and to be a motif for the instrumental score throughout the movie. Tex Ritter--John Ritter's father--sang the song "Do Not Foresake Me", whose lyrics are from the point of view of the hero appealing to his new wife, Amy, to stay with him. See more »

Goofs

In the church scene a young girl is still in the church next to her mother after all the children have been "dismissed"; in the very next shot she is not there. See more »

Quotes

[to his wife]
Sam: Well, whaddya want? Do you want me to get killed? Do you want to be a widow, is that what you want?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chikara High Noon (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of the Republic
(ca 1856) (uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (1862)
Sung by the parishioners in church
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Man Who Won't Run Away
29 May 2006 | by (the Sagas of Icelanders) – See all my reviews

For me, Will Kane embodies the American ideal of a hero: a man who stands up for what is right, even when nobody else does, even when the temptation is strong to stick the head in the sand.

Will Kane explains his outlook at the outset: there is no point in running away if that means spending the rest of your life watching your back. His best chance is to face his enemies on his home ground. At this point, he still thinks that honest folk will stand by him. The rest of the movie is a study in character: will he stand his ground when his entire world crumbles around him?

It is puzzling that Howard Hawks, John Wayne, and others thought of High Noon as un-American. I am not sure if this is because of the allegory of the McCarthy era; or the people of an American town collectively sticking their heads in the sand; or the Marshal throwing his badge to the ground in the last scene.

Clearly, the movie does not criticize McCarthyism itself. (It has nothing to say about communism, either.) It appears to criticize the people who did not stand up to McCarthy and the HUAAC, but it can equally well be seen as a comment on the appeasers who did not stand up to fascism or communism.

In any case, not too much must be made of the anti-appeasement angle, because the townsfolk is not the primary focus of the movie: the focus is on Will Kane. When the townsfolk behave like cowards, that gives Will Kane a chance to prove that he is a hero. If the town had stood by the Marshal, we would have seen, at best, an excellent Western like Rio Bravo, but not a masterpiece like High Noon. For Will Kane to be a hero, it is necessary that he stands alone.

No statement can convey the dramatic impact of Will Kane throwing his badge away, but it is worth discussing what this gesture means. For me, it means that the town and the badge were not worth fighting for. Will Kane fought for principle: he fought because he does not run away.


47 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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