High Noon - Wikipedia High Noon is a 1952 American Western film produced by Stanley Kramer from a screenplay by Carl Foreman, directed by Fred Zinnemann, and starring Gary Cooper.
High Noon - Wikipedia For other uses see High Noon disambiguation Dead By Noon High Noon is a 1952 American Western film produced by Stanley Kramer from a screenplay by Carl Foreman directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Gary Cooper The plot depicted in real time centers around a town marshal torn between his sense of duty and love for his new bride who must face a gang of killers alone Though mired in controversy with political overtones at the time of its release the film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four Actor Editing MusicScore and MusicSong3 as well as four Golden Globe Awards Actor Supporting Actress Score and CinematographyBlack and White 4 The awardwinning score was written by Russianborn composer Dimitri Tiomkin High Noon was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as culturally historically or aesthetically significant in 1989 the NFRs first year of existence Contents 1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Production 3 1 Casting 3 2 Filming 4 Reception 4 1 Accolades 4 2 Cultural influence 5 Sequels and remakes 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links In Hadleyville a small town in New Mexico Territory Marshal Will Kane Cooper newly married to Amy Fowler Grace Kelly is preparing to retire The happy couple is departing for a new life raising a family and running a store in another town but word arrives that Frank Miller Ian MacDonald a vicious outlaw whom Kane sent to jail has been released and is arriving on the noon train Millers ganghis younger brother Ben Sheb Wooley Jack Colby Lee Van Cleef and Jim Pierce Robert J Wilkeawait his arrival at the train station it is clear that Miller intends to exact revenge For Amy a devout Quaker and pacifist the solution is simpleleave town before Miller arrives but Kanes sense of duty and honor is strong Theyre making me run he tells her Ive never run from anybody before Besides he says Miller and his gang will hunt him down anyway Amy gives Kane an ultimatum She is leaving on the noon train with or without him While waiting at the hotel for the train she meets Helen Ramírez Katy Jurado who was once Millers lover and then Kanes and is leaving as well Amy understands why Helen is fleeing but the reverse is not true Helen tells Amy that if Kane were her man she would not abandon him in his hour of need Kanes efforts to round up a posse at the tavern and then the church are met with fear and hostility Some townspeople worried that a gunfight would damage the towns reputation urge Kane to avoid the confrontation entirely Others are Millers friends and resent that Kane cleaned up the town in the first place Kanes young deputy Harvey Pell Lloyd Bridges who is bitter that Kane did not recommend him as his successor says he will stand with Kane only if Kane goes to the city fathers and puts the word in for him Kane rejects the quid pro quo and Pell turns in his badge Kane visits a series of old friends and allies but none can or will help His predecessor Marshal Howe Lon Chaney Jr is old and arthritic Judge Percy Mettrick Otto Kruger who sentenced Miller flees on horseback and urges Kane to do the same townsman Herb Baker James Millican agrees to be deputized but backs out when he realizes he is the only volunteer Sam Fuller Harry Morgan hides in his house sending his wife to the door to tell Kane he isnt home Kane writes out his will as the clock in his office ticks toward high noon At the stables Pell saddles a horse and tries to persuade Kane to mount it and leave town Their conversation becomes an argument and then a fist fight Kane finally knocks his former deputy senseless then goes into the street to face Miller and his gang In one of the most iconic shots in film history the camera rises and widens to show Kane standing alone on a deserted street in a deserted town The outlaws approach and the gunfight begins Kane guns down Ben Miller and Colby but is wounded in the process As the train is about to leave the station Amy hears the gunfire leaps off and runs back to town Choosing her husbands life over her religious beliefs she picks up Ben Millers gun and shoots Pierce from behind leaving only Frank Miller who grabs Amy as a shield to force Kane into the open Amy claws Millers face and he pushes her to the ground giving Kane a clear shot and he shoots Miller dead Kane helps his bride to her feet and they embrace As the townspeople emerge and cluster around him Kane surveys them with bitter contempt wordlessly throws his marshals star in the dirt and departs with Amy on their wagon Gary Cooper as Marshal Will Kane Grace Kelly as Amy Fowler Kane Will and Amy in the Marshals office Katy Jurado as Helen Ramírez Gary Cooper as Marshal Will Kane Thomas Mitchell as Mayor Jonas Henderson Lloyd Bridges as Deputy Marshal Harvey Pell Katy Jurado as Helen Ramírez Grace Kelly as Amy Fowler Kane Otto Kruger as Judge Percy Mettrick Lon Chaney Jr as Martin Howe the former marshal Ian MacDonald as Frank Miller Eve McVeagh as Mildred Fuller Harry Morgan as Sam Fuller Morgan Farley as Dr Mahin minister Harry Shannon as Cooper Lee Van Cleef as Jack Colby Robert J Wilke as Jim Pierce Sheb Wooley as Ben Miller Uncredited Cast James Millican as Herb Baker Howland Chamberlain as the hotel receptionist Tom London as Sam Helens attendant William Newell as Jimmy the Gimp Larry J Blake as Gillis the saloon owner Lucien Prival as Joe the Bartender Jack Elam as Charlie the town drunk John Doucette as Trumbull Tom Greenway as Ezra Dick Elliott as Kibbee Merrill McCormick as Fletcher Virginia Farmer as Mrs Fletcher Virginia Christine as Mrs Simpson Harry Harvey as Coy Paul Dubov as Scott Productionedit The creation and release of High Noon intersected with the second Red Scare and the Korean War In 1947 while Carl Foreman was writing the screenplay he was called before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee HUAC during its investigation of Communist propaganda and influence in the Hollywood motion picture industry Foreman had once been a member of the Communist Party but he declined to identify fellow members or anyone he suspected of current membership As a result he was labeled an uncooperative witness by the committee making him vulnerable to blacklisting 5 After his refusal to name names was made public Foremans production partner Stanley Kramer demanded an immediate dissolution of their partnership As a signatory to the production loan Foreman remained with the High Noon project but before the films release he sold his partnership share to Kramer and moved to Britain knowing that he would not find further work in the United States 5 Kramer later asserted that he ended their partnership because Foreman had threatened to falsely name him to HUAC as a Communist Foreman said that Kramer feared damage to his own career due to guilt by association Foreman was indeed blacklisted by the Hollywood studios due to the uncooperative witness label and additional pressure from Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn MPA president John Wayne and Los Angeles Times gossip columnist Hedda Hopper among others 5 According to Darkness at High Noon The Carl Foreman Documentsa 2002 documentary based in part on a lengthy 1952 letter from Foreman to film critic Bosley CrowtherForemans role in the creation and production of High Noon has been unfairly downplayed over the years in favor of Kramers Foreman told Crowther that the film originated from a fourpage plot outline he wrote that turned out to be very similar to a short story by John W Cunningham called The Tin Star Foreman purchased the film rights to Cunninghams story and wrote the screenplay By the time the documentary aired most of the principals were dead including Kramer Foreman Zinnemann and Cooper Victor Navasky author of Naming Names a definitive account of the Hollywood blacklist told a reporter that based on his interviews with Kramers widow and others the documentary seemed onesided and the problem is it makes a villain out of Stanley Kramer when it was more complicated than that Richard Fleischer later claimed he helped Carl Foreman develop the story of High Noon over eight weeks while driving to and from the set of The Clay Pigeon 1949 which they were making together Fleischer says his RKO contract prevented him from directing High Noon 7 Castingedit John Wayne was originally offered the lead role in the film but turned it down because he felt that Foremans story was an obvious allegory against blacklisting which he actively supported Later he told an interviewer that he would never regret having helped run Foreman out of the country 8 Cooper was Waynes longtime friend and shared his conservative political views he had been a friendly witness before HUAC but did not implicate anyone as a suspected Communist and later became a vigorous opponent of blacklisting 9 Ironically Cooper won an Academy Award for his performance and since he was working in Europe at the time asked Wayne to accept the Oscar on his behalf Although Waynes contempt for the film and refusal of its lead role were well known he said Im glad to see theyre giving this to a man who is not only most deserving but has conducted himself throughout the years in our business in a manner that we can all be proud of Now that Im through being such a good sport Im going back and find my business manager and agent and find out why I didnt get High Noon instead of Cooper 10 After Wayne turned down the Will Kane role Kramer offered it to Gregory Peck who declined because he felt it was too similar to his role in The Gunfighter the year before He later said he considered it the biggest mistake of his career 11Marlon Brando Montgomery Clift and Charlton Heston also declined the role 10 Kramer saw Grace Kelly in an offBroadway play and cast her as Kanes bride despite Cooper and Kellys substantial age disparity 50 and 21 respectively Rumors of an affair between Cooper and Kelly during filming remain unsubstantiated Kelly biographer Donald Spoto wrote that there was no evidence of a romance aside from tabloid gossip 12 Biographer Gina McKinnon speculated that “there might well have been a roll or two in the hay bales” but cited no evidence other than a remark by Kelly’s sister Lizanne that Kelly was infatuated with Cooper 13 Lee Van Cleef made his film debut in High Noon Kramer first offered him the Harvey Pell role after seeing him in a touring production of Mister Roberts on the condition that he have his nose surgically altered to appear less menacing Van Cleef refused and was cast instead as Colby the only role of his career without a single line of dialog 14 Filmingedit High Noon was filmed in the late summerearly fall of 1951 in several locations in California The opening scenes under the credits were shot at Iverson Movie Ranch near Los Angeles A few town scenes were shot in Columbia State Historic Park a preserved Gold Rush mining town near Sonora but most of the street scenes were filmed on the Columbia lot in Burbank St Josephs Church in Tuolumne City was used for exterior shots of the Hadleyville church The railroad was the old Sierra Railroad in Jamestown a few miles south of Columbia now known as Railtown 1897 State Historic Park and often nicknamed the movie railroad due to its frequent use in films and television shows The railroad station was built for the film alongside a water tower at Warnerville about 15 miles to the southwest 15 Cooper was reluctant to film the fight scene with Bridges due to ongoing problems with his back but did without the use of a stunt double He wore no makeup to emphasize his characters anguish and fear which was probably intensified by pain from recent surgery to remove a bleeding ulcer 16 The running time of the story almost precisely parallels the running time of the film itselfan effect heightened by frequent shots of clocks to remind the characters and the audience that the villain will be arriving on the noon train 17 The movies theme song Do Not Forsake Me My Darling became a major hit on the CountryWestern charts for Tex Ritter and later a pop hit for Frankie Laine as well 10 Its popularity set a precedent for theme songs that were featured in many subsequent Western films 18 Composer Dimitri Tiomkins score and song with lyrics by Ned Washington became popular for years afterwards and Tiomkin became in demand for future westerns in the 1950s like Gunfight at the O K Corral and Last Train From Gun Hill 19 Receptionedit The film earned an estimated 3 4 million at the North American box office in 1952 20 Upon its release critics and audiences expecting chases fights spectacular scenery and other common Western film elements were dismayed to find them largely replaced by emotional and moralistic dialogue until the climactic final scenes 21 Some critics scoffed at the unorthodox rescue of the hero by the heroine 2223 David Bishop argued that pacifist Amys detached and abstract decision to shoot a man in the back pulls pacifism toward apollonian decadence 23Alfred Hitchcock thought Kellys performance rather mousy and lacking in animation only in later films he said did she show her true star quality 2425 In Chapter XXXV of The Virginian by Owen Wister there is a description of a very similar incident Trampas a villain calls out the Virginian who has a new bride waiting whom he might lose if he goes ahead with the gunfight High Noon has even been described as a straight remake of the 1929 film version of The Virginian in which Cooper also starred 26 The film was criticized in the Soviet Union as glorification of the individual 5 The American Left lauded it as an allegory against blacklisting and McCarthyism but it gained respect in the conservative community as well 27 It has been cited as a favorite by several U S presidents Dwight Eisenhower screened the film at the White House5 and Bill Clinton hosted a record 17 White House screenings 28 Its no accident that politicians see themselves as Gary Cooper in High Noon Clinton said Not just politicians but anyone whos forced to go against the popular will Any time youre alone and you feel youre not getting the support you need Coopers Will Kane becomes the perfect metaphor 2930Ronald Reagan cited High Noon as his favorite film due to the protagonists strong commitment to duty and the law 31 By contrast John Wayne told an interviewer that he considered High Noon the most unAmerican thing Ive ever seen in my whole life32 and later teamed with director Howard Hawks to make Rio Bravo in response I made Rio Bravo because I didnt like High Noon Hawks explained Neither did Duke Wayne I didnt think a good town marshal was going to run around town like a chicken with his head cut off asking everyone to help And who saves him His Quaker wife That isnt my idea of a good Western 33 Zinnemann responded I admire Hawks very much I only wish hed leave my films alone34 In a 1973 interview he added Im rather surprised at Hawks and Waynes thinking Sheriffs are people and no two people are alike The story of High Noon takes place in the Old West but it is really a story about a mans conflict of conscience In this sense it is a cousin to A Man for All Seasons In any event respect for the Western hero has not been diminished by High Noon 35 Accoladesedit High Noon received seven Academy Award nominations Entertainment Weekly ranked Will Kane on their list of The 20 All Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture 37 Katy Jurado won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Helen Ramírez the first Mexican actress to receive the award Cinematographer Floyd Crosby father of musician David Crosby also won a Golden Globe Award for his work on the film 38 American Film Institute recognition 1998 AFIs 100 Years 100 Movies 33 2001 AFIs 100 Years 100 Thrills 20 2003 AFIs 100 Years 100 Heroes and Villains Will Kane hero 5 2004 AFIs 100 Years 100 Songs High Noon Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darlin 25 2005 AFIs 100 Years of Film Scores 10 2006 AFIs 100 Years 100 Cheers 27 2007 AFIs 100 Years 100 Movies 10th Anniversary Edition 27 2008 AFIs 10 Top 10 2 Western film Cultural influenceedit At High Noon June 4 1989 Polish political poster featuring Gary Cooper to encourage votes for the Solidarity party in the 1989 elections In 1989 22yearold Polish graphic designer Tomasz Sarnecki transformed Marian Stachurskis 1959 Polish variant of the High Noon poster into a Solidarity election poster for the first partially free elections in communist Poland The poster which was displayed all over Poland shows Cooper armed with a folded ballot saying Wybory i e elections in his right hand while the Solidarity logo is pinned to his vest above the sheriffs badge The message at the bottom of the poster reads W samo południe 4 czerwca 1989 which translates to High Noon 4 June 1989 As former Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa wrote in 2004 Under the headline At High Noon runs the red Solidarity banner and the dateJune 4 1989of the poll It was a simple but effective gimmick that at the time was misunderstood by the Communists They in fact tried to ridicule the freedom movement in Poland as an invention of the Wild West especially the U S But the poster had the opposite impact Cowboys in Western clothes had become a powerful symbol for Poles Cowboys fight for justice fight against evil and fight for freedom both physical and spiritual Solidarity trounced the Communists in that election paving the way for a democratic government in Poland It is always so touching when people bring this poster up to me to autograph it They have cherished it for so many years and it has become the emblem of the battle that we all fought together 39 The 1981 science fiction film Outland starring Sean Connery as a federal agent on an interplanetary mining outpost has been compared to High Noon due to similarities in themes and plot 4041 High Noon is referenced several times on the HBO drama series The Sopranos Tony Soprano cites Gary Coopers character as the archetype of what a man should be mentally tough and stoic Dead By Noon He frequently laments Whatever happened to Gary Cooper and refers to Will Kane as the strong silent type The iconic ending to the film is shown on a television during an extended dream sequence in the fifthseason episode The Test Dream 42 High Noon inspired the 2008 hiphop song of the same name by rap artist Kinetics in which High Noon is mentioned along with several other classic Western films drawing comparisons between rap battles and Westernfilm street showdowns 43 Sequels and remakesedit In 1966 Four Star produced a television pilot called The Clock Strikes Noon Again set 20 years after High Noon and starring Peter Fonda as Kanes son Katy Jurado reprised her role as Helen Ramírez The script was written by James Warner Bellah and Robert Enders The pilot remained unsold and never aired 44 Another television sequel High Noon Part II The Return of Will Kane was produced in 1980 and aired on CBS in November of that year Lee Majors and Katherine Cannon played the Cooper and Kelly roles Elmore Leonard wrote the original screenplay 45 In 2000 High Noon was remade as a TV movie for the cable channel TBS Superstation with Tom Skerritt in the lead role 46 Referencesedit Champlin C 1966 Oct 10 Foreman hopes to reverse runaway Los Angeles Times 1923Current File Retrieved from httpsearch proquest comdocview155553672 Tino Balio United Artists The Company That Changed the Film Industry University of Wisconsin Press 1987 p 47 List of the 25th Academy Awards Winners IMDB List of nominations and awards for Stanley KramersHigh Noon a b c d e Byman Jeremy 2004 Showdown at High Noon Witchhunts Critics and the End of the Western Scarecrow Press ISBN 0810849984 Fleischer Richard 1993 Just Tell Me When to Cry A Memoir Carroll and Graf p 3536 John Wayne Playboy Interview MAY 1971 Retrieved May 11 2015 Meyer Jeffrey Gary Cooper American Hero 1998 p 144 a b c High Noon at TCM com retrieved September 11 2016 Gregory Peck at DestinationHollywood com retrieved September 6 2016 Spoto D High Society The Life of Grace Kelly Crown Archetype 2009 pp 679 ISBN 0307395618 McKinnon G What Would Grace Do How to Live Life in Style Like the Princess of Hollywood Gotham 2013 p 145 ISBN 1592408281 Lee Van Cleef at westernclippings com retrieved September 6 2016 High Noon MovieLocations com Hyams J The Life and Times of the Western Movie Gallery Books 1984 pp 1135 Elmo Williams OscarWinning Film Editor on High Noon Dies at 102 The Hollywood Reporter November 25 2015 retrieved August 12 2016 High Noon DestinationHollywood com retrieved September 6 2016 httpwww americanmusicpreservation comHighNoon htm High Noon soundtrack review retrieved August 13 2017 Top BoxOffice Hits of 1952 Variety January 7 1953 The Making of High Noon hosted by Leonard Maltin 1992 Available on the Region 1 DVD from Artisan Entertainment DiMare Philip C 17 June 2011 Movies in American History An Encyclopedia An Encyclopedia ABCCLIO p 411 ISBN 9781598842975 Retrieved 3 June 2013 a b Bishop David 1 August 2006 The Wheel of Ideals Lulu com p 289 ISBN 9781847285355 Retrieved 3 June 2013 Mcclure Hal Hays 30 July 2012 Adventuring My Life As a Pilot Foreign Correspondent and Travel Adventure Filmmaker AuthorHouse p 91 ISBN 9781468598124 Retrieved 3 June 2013 Fawell John 2004 Hitchcocks Rear Window The Wellmade Film SIU Press p 142 ISBN 9780809389704 Retrieved 3 June 2013 Wills Garry 1998 John Waynes America 1st Touchstone ed New York Simon & Schuster p 274 ISBN 9780684838830 Retrieved 15 February 2016 Manfred Weidhorn High Noon Bright Lights Film Journal February 2005 Accessed 12 February 2008 Review © 2004 Branislav L Slantchev Interview with Bill Clinton on High Noon Collectors Edition DVD Lionsgate 2008 ASIN B0016MLIKM Clinton Bill June 22 2004 My Life Knopf p 21 Mulholland J Inside High Noon DVD documentary John Wayne Playboy Interview MAY 1971 Retrieved May 11 2015 Michael Munn 2005 John Wayne The Man Behind the Myth Penguin p 148 ISBN 0451214145 Fred Zinnemann interviews Fred Zinnemann Gabriel Miller Google Books Gabriel Miller ed 2005 Fred Zinnemann Interviews University Press of Mississippi p 44 ISBN 1578066980 Elmo Williams has said that Gerstads editing was nominal and he apparently protested Gerstads inclusion on the Academy Award at the time See Williams Elmo 2006 Elmo Williams A Hollywood Memoir McFarland p 86 ISBN 0786426217 Entertainment Weeklys 20 All Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture Entertainment Weekly Retrieved 20100521 Great Cinematographers at cinematographers nl retrieved September 6 2016 Lech Walesa In Solidarity The Wall Street Journal 11 June 2004 Accessed 15 March 2007 Arnold G Unlikely Outland The Washington Post May 23 1981 retrieved September 11 2016 Blowen M Outland is Western out of this world The Boston Globe May 22 1981 retrieved September 11 2016 The Sopranos Season 5 HBO Studios DVD 2008 ASIN B0007YMVWO Rap Genius Lyrics and Explanations for the Kinetics song High Noon Goldberg L Unsold Television Pilots 19551989 CreateSpace Publishing 2015 p 244 ISBN 151159067X High Noon Part II MGM Studios Inc retrieved September 11 2016 High Noon at EW com August 18 2000 retrieved September 11 2016 Further readingedit Frankel Glenn 2017 High Noon The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic Bloomsbury USA Slotkin Richard 1992 Killer Elite The Cult of the Gunfighter 1950–1953 Gunfighter Nation The Myth of the Frontier in TwentiethCentury America New York HarperPerennial pp 379–404 ISBN 006097575X External linksedit High Noon on IMDb High Noon at the TCM Movie Database High Noon at AllMovie High Noon at Rotten Tomatoes
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