Friday, 23 September 2011
High Noon 
High Noon is considered to have ushered in the transition from idealistic and romanticised to more “adult” and realistic Westerns. Thus unlike what one might expect, the “hero” in High Noon is not blindly heroic; not that he's lacking in terms of courage, skill and honour, but he knows a losing proposition when he sees one. Gary Cooper, in one of the most celebrated roles of his career, starred as Will Kane, a stoic marshal of a godforsaken town. He has just got married to a beautiful younger lady, and now plans to retire from his office in order to go on their honeymoon. However, just before he’s about to leave he learns that the vicious leader of the Miler gang, who Kane had arrested few years back, is due to arrive at the town by the 12 o’clock train. Much to the chagrin of his naïve and pacifist wife, he decides to stay back for one more day. Unfortunately, to compound matters for him, he finds himself utterly alone in the daunting face-off with the Miller brothers, as every resident of the town out-rightly refuse to help him despite his pleas. The movie was quite startling in its deconstruction of the myth of heroism, bravado, machismo and pride that had been championed by Westerns thus far. And the storyline, which was played out in real-time, made the journey towards the inevitable showdown immensely scintillating.
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Genre: Western/Psychological Western