4K Digital Restoration
High Noon (Blu-ray) Eureka
One of the most treasured Hollywood classics, and one of the most influential and iconic Westerns ever made, High Noon remains a powerful study of heroism, and the tension between the individual and the society around him. One of the best films by director Fred Zinnemann (From Here to Eternity) — and produced by Stanley Kramer — High Noon is riveting entertainment and an acknowledged American masterpiece, yet one with surprisingly tumultuous roots.
In his Oscar-winning performance, Gary Cooper stars as small town Marshal Will Kane, preparing to retire and leave town with his young bride Amy (Grace Kelly). However, plans are derailed with the impending arrival of outlaw Frank and his brutal gang. Unfolding in real time, High Noon follows Will as he futilely tries to assemble a posse with the reluctant townspeople, who want Will to forget about a conflict — as does Amy, a Quaker pacifist who just wants to avoid violence. But as high noon approaches, Will realises he must do the moral thing…with or without help.
While the film has become a favourite of U.S. presidents from Eisenhower and Reagan to Clinton, its release was controversial: John Wayne (who had turned down the role) and Howard Hawks hated it, precisely because it was viewed as a thinly veiled allegory for the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings investigating communism at the time. Its politics make it even more intriguing now, but regardless, High Noon is one of the most important — and gripping films — of the 1950s.
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