Western film, directed by Fred Zinnemann and written by Carl Foreman, based on a story by John W. Cunningham. It was released in 1952.

Gary Cooper plays Will Kane, a sheriff in a small town. He's just gotten married to a Quaker woman (played by Grace Kelly) and is about to leave on his honeymoon, when he learns that a gang of thugs are coming to town to kill him. While he was prepared to retire to make his pacifist wife happy, he nevertheless decides that he has to defend his town.

Unfortunately, absolutely no one is willing to help him, and most reveal themselves as craven cowards who would prefer to leave Kane to fight and die alone rather than stick their necks out and offer him any assistance.

The movie takes place in real time, and the tension and suspense mounts steadily as 12 o'clock -- the noon train is carrying the gang's leader -- grows closer and closer.

Cooper delivers a tense and brutally realistic performance as a man who knows he's going to be killed defending a bunch of spineless worms, but knows that he has to do it anyway because it's his job.

For many movie fans, this is one of the best Westerns ever made, rivaling or exceeding many of John Ford's classics.

The title theme, highly recommended by kthejoker and heard throughout the movie, is Tex Ritter's "Do Not Forsake Me: The Ballad of High Noon."

It's important to note that 'High Noon' was filmed in Black and White, even though every film with even a low budget at the time would have been filmed in colour. Director Fred Zinnemann was constantly pestered by the Studio, the writers and even the actors to reconsider and film it again in colour. However, he never gave in, and such was born a classic.

I am not a fan of 'Westerns'. I do not like them. I will not watch then in a boat, I will not watch them with a goat. And therein lies the best part -- 'High Noon' is a Western in setting only. It could more aptly be compared to a dramatic play than to a Western. It lacks horse chases, long gunfights and concentrates more on motivations of the characters than action.

...oh, don't forsake me oh my darling; I only know I must be brave. For I must face a man who hates me, or I'll be a coward in my grave...

One of the interesting things about this movie is what happened to the screenwriter, Carl Foreman. A three-time Oscar nominee for his writing (including High Noon), Foreman was blacklisted after his hostile testimony before the Communist-hunting House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952. he fled to Europe before High Noon was even released.

Many film critics contend that the screenplay for High Noon is based on Foreman's experiences, with Gary Cooper's Will Kane representing the embattled artists of the era being chased by the government for their alleged Communist ties.

Foreman remained in England for the remainder of his life, achieving success as both a writer and producer.

He was reinstated in 1997 along with other victims of the blacklist. He never had the opportunity to savor this as he died in 1984.

Source: The Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com)

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