Academy Awards 1952 -
Best Original Score: Dimitri Tiomkin
Academy Awards 1952 -
Best Original Song: Dimitri Tiomkin & Ned Washington
USA Today - 07/19/1998
"...Filmdom's definitive dusty-street shootout..."
Sight and Sound - 03/01/2001
"...A classic Western..."
Total Film - 04/01/2001
"...The almost silent final 15 minutes have more excitement than most of today's volume-cranked blockbusters can even dream of..."
Entertainment Weekly - 01/11/2002
"...Gary Cooper forged a new kind of hero as a lawman left swinging in the wind. Also innovative was its use of real time..."
Premiere - 12/01/2003
"[A] new kind of American fable: the socially conscious western..."
Entertainment Weekly - 06/20/2008
"Director Fred Zinnemann's iconic Western plays like a Johnny Cash song..." -- Grade: B
Wall Street Journal - 07/04/2013
"Another classic, directed by Fred Zinnemann from a screenplay by Carl Foreman."
Gary Cooper is Hollywood's perfect hero, the very embodiment of integrity and grace in this greatest of Westerns. As a newly married town marshal, he must balance an innate sense of justice and duty with loyalty to his beautiful new--and pacifist--bride when he is left by an ungrateful town to face a gang of deadly outlaws alone. As we watch spellbound, film time is real time as the showdown grows ever closer. HIGH NOON is a masterpiece that is frequently interpreted as a parable about artists left to "stand alone" and face persecution during the HUAC Hollywood blacklisting. However, Howard Hawks allegedly devised RIO BRAVO as an answer to the film's "wimpiness," and John Wayne once declared HIGH NOON as un-American--he was apparently offended by the ending of the film, which shows Sheriff Kane removing his badge and tossing it in the dirt.
As Sheriff Will Kane prepares to retire from his law-making, gun-fighting duties and marry his pacifist girlfriend, he receives word that a man he sent to prison has been pardoned. Kane initially escapes, but returns to protect the town from this killer and his band of outlaws only to find hostility and resentment among the uncooperative townsfolk.
Character Study |
Essential Cinema |
HIGH NOON was an original selection to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1989.
The New York Film Critics chose HIGH NOON as Best Film of 1952 and named Fred Zinnemann Best Director of 1952.
Jack Elam, who would make a career out of being an often drunk minor character in Westerns, is the man in the drunk tank in HIGH NOON.
A made-for-TV sequel was aired in 1980. "High Noon Part II: Return of Will Kane" starred Lee Majors in the Gary Cooper role, joined by David Carradine, J. A. Preston, Pernell Roberts, and M. Emmet Walsh.
Academy Award Nominations: 7, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay.