United Artists | Release Date: July 30, 1952
8.4
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 77 Ratings
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70
Mixed:
6
Negative:
1
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8
lasttimeisawOct 24, 2013
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. An unorthodox and small-scale-designed western drama centers on a newly-wed-and-just-retired marshal (Cooper) who has to fence off a vengeful quartet of gunslingers all by himself after the townsfolk cold-shouldering his solicit for help. Directed by Oscar winning director Fred Zinnemann (JULIA 1977, 8/10; FROM HERE TO ETERNITY 1953, 7/10), HIGH NOON runs a succinct 85 minutes which neatly synchronizes with the storyline, after the arrival of the culprit of the gangsters, a heroic face-off sets the old scores with an annihilation of either side.

It is a 1 Vs. 4 predicament for our lone hero when number matters, Zinnemann launches an absorbingly direct route to unfold how the weathered-but-merry man suddenly plunges at his wits’ end in less than 90 minutes (aided by Dimitri Tiomkin’s fantastic Oscar-crowning score), his wife (Kelly) threats to leave him after her persuasion falls flat, his deputy marshal (Bridges) hangs up the badge due to some trivial jealousy issues, the judge (Kruger) is eager to flee, the mayor (Mitchell) doesn’t want to spoil the veneer of peace and his mentor (Chaney Jr.) sympathizes him but refuses to get involved, while among the village people, some hold grudge towards him for self-serving reasons, others righteously offer their help but either is chickened out by the lopsided situation or too clumsy to wield a weapon. So more or less the huddled masses are complicity of the revenge plan of the quartet, a reluctant truth we have to admit and we are among them too if we are placed under a similar context, the downsides of human nature has been wondrously encapsulated by this compact piece of work. On the other hand, the execution of the gunfight can only be quoted as mediocre, anyway Zinnermann is never a keen action planner.

Cooper won his second Oscar for the film and gratifyingly carries the emotional curve from principled confidence to disillusioned cold feet, he is a good man who is too proud to overcome his own self-importance, he learned the lesson in a hard way. Kelly was on the cusp of her glory, her role as an anti-violence Quaker is a borderline controversy since finally she has blood on her hands too apart from a liability and hostage in the plot; the Mexican Jurado has a more intense presence although shamefully we never have a chance to hear the story from her side. Lloyd and Chaney Jr. stands out among the rest by a barn fight and one-liner delivery respectively. On a whole HIGH MOON is a genre-breaker among the Western pictures, its influences will last thanks to its morality-challenging acuteness.

PS: Have any one noticed the name of Kelly’s role is Amy Fowler Kane, with Gary Cooper, is it this film THE BIG BANG THEORY’s Shemy pair names after?
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8
SpangleDec 1, 2015
I love the way this film handled the antagonists, not really focusing on them and instead focusing on Will Kane and his efforts to fight them off by rallying support. High Noon loses much of its impact now because it has been copied so manyI love the way this film handled the antagonists, not really focusing on them and instead focusing on Will Kane and his efforts to fight them off by rallying support. High Noon loses much of its impact now because it has been copied so many times, but is still incredible. Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly are fantastic and really dominate the screen. In addition, as I said, the aura created around the antagonists is great and gives them this larger than life feel that drives home why the townsfolk are so scared of him and his gang. Overall, High Noon is a classic western that is expertly crafted and highly influential. Expand
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8
Compi24Nov 28, 2012
An edgy, tightly wound western drama with a stirring and imposing lead performance from the legendary Gary Cooper.
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9
EpicLadySpongeMay 3, 2016
Classical western movies like High Noon should be what western movies are right now. There's not that much western movies, but I usually want to enjoy every single bit of this movie again since I loved a single bit of it.
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9
TerrorpinMar 21, 2017
Great movie. Hardly a wasted minute in the whole film. A lesson that could be learnt by current directors !! Brilliant soundtrack by Dimitri Tiomkin and sung by Tex Ritter. Gary Cooper always portrayed a more genuine cowboy than anybodyGreat movie. Hardly a wasted minute in the whole film. A lesson that could be learnt by current directors !! Brilliant soundtrack by Dimitri Tiomkin and sung by Tex Ritter. Gary Cooper always portrayed a more genuine cowboy than anybody else bar none. Expand
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10
PrinceSevatarAug 22, 2018
The quintessential classic western. Timeless, perfectly paced and with a cast and score to match.
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7
JayHJul 29, 2009
A fine western, but I also feel it is an overrated film. Gary Cooper is very good, the screenplay is excellent, nice pacing. It has some tense moments. It's hard to believe that theme song won an Oscar.
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9
wololoooMar 27, 2012
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. High Noon plays out in near real time - realistically building tension at a steady pace. There's little action before the climax of the film, with a huge focus on character interaction, as sherfif Will Kane (played by the excellent Gary Cooper) struggles in vain to enlist the townspeople's help. After the seventy minute long buildup, I was hoping for a worthy shootout, and was rewarded with a tense and dramatic finale. High Noon is a true classic that holds up easily today, and is a telling reflection on the cowardice and fear that can strike us all. Expand
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6
CodyZamboniOct 12, 2019
Classic oater, whose primary strength is character, not action. Gary Cooper's best performance as a man torn between duty and happiness, torn between doing what's right or taking the easy way out. Bonus fun : the tension mounts in real time
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6
BroyaxNov 29, 2018
D'habitude, les westerns de cette époque, on s'en approche avec précaution et on les regarde avec parcimonie : ils en effet tendance (à moins que ce ne soit un don, qui sait...) à vous assommer en moins d'un quart d'heure, voire beaucoupD'habitude, les westerns de cette époque, on s'en approche avec précaution et on les regarde avec parcimonie : ils en effet tendance (à moins que ce ne soit un don, qui sait...) à vous assommer en moins d'un quart d'heure, voire beaucoup moins pour les pires. Puis, vous dormez du sommeil du juste comme une masse.

Mais John Wayne n'est pas là, ceci expliquant cela sans doute. C'est le gars Gary Cooper qui s'y colle. Ainsi qu'une blonde aux traits si délicats, au port altier et à la silhouette si gracieuse que je n'ai pas percuté tout de suite... oui, c'est Grace ! ("Graisse" en anglais mais ça ne lui va pas, je préfère Grâce).

Donc, voici que le machin en noir et blanc et en quatre tiers démarre quasiment sur les chapeaux de roue : un truand que notre Gary "marshal" a mis en taule, a été relâché et arrive par le train de midi pétante (SNCF, c'est possible...) attendu par trois de ses sbires malfaisants dont on reconnaît l'un à ses traits acérés et son regard cruel : Lee Van Cleef !

Des plans à intervalles plus ou moins réguliers sur l'horloge nous rappellent que les quatre vilains seront en ville dans un peu plus d'une heure. Cependant, les rats quittent le navire, les collègues ont piscine et même Grace lâche ce mari décidément suicidaire...

Le film n'est pas trop long et sait entretenir la tension (et l'attention) même si ça blablate beaucoup et même si la bagarre avec Lloyd Bridges est grotesque... Mais du coup, lorsque le tchou-tchou arrive enfin, on reste sur notre faim et notablement déçu par la fin : peu vraisemblable, un peu expédiée et mal **** pour tout dire.

Mais pour un western de cette époque, ce n'est clairement pas si mal... malgré la musique qui ressasse cet air casse-burnes et cette chansonnette de merde (en français dans la VF !).
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