High Noon movie poster

The thinking man's Western by Carl Foreman, writer, and Fred Zinnemann, director, rounds up a basic unit of stereotypes — the legendary aging lawman, his pale-skinned pacifist wife, the dark-complexioned shady lady from his past, and a band of desperadoes with a score to settle — and nearly paralyzes them with repetitious and largely irrelevant anti-populist propaganda. It is a tribute to the genre, and to the sagging face and shoulders of Gary Cooper, that the stereotypes succeed in holding your interest in spite of all the belabored intellectualizing. Grace Kelly, Katy Jurado, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges. 1952.

Duncan Shepherd

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