High Noon (1952) - Drama, Thriller, Western

Hohum Score



A town Marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train.

IMDB: 7.9
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly
Length: 85 Minutes
PG Rating: PG
Reviews: 44 out of 376 found boring (11.7%)

One-line Reviews (176)

This makes sense seeing as the film is in real time, but with so few actions this gets tedious very quickly.

Set in "real time" as verified by clocks throughout, the screenplay is tense as each minute passes leading to an exciting climax.

This classic American western movie gives a charming small town lure mixed with love and an intense suspense as Kane hastily searches for help.

Some intense scenes in the film were when Kane has a fistfight in the stable after being persuaded to leave town as well to the ultimate showdown at the film's shootout ending, all the while with the swinging pendulum on the clock, ominously ticking down as Kane stands as a man alone about to face his true destiny of a town that is unworthy of him.

Thus, there is the flaw: Make it too obvious and the propaganda becomes too weighed down in its profundity.

Yet a society is definitely split and mirrored in the dull sparkle of a sheriff star tossed on the ground.

Take the crane shot that dwindles the solitary Kane in an empty street in the town when everybody is hiding.

A suspenseful masterpiece .

This suspenseful, 85-minute, black & white oater is an allegory about the Hollywood blacklist and how the industry abandoned stars and technicians during the McCarthy witch hunt years.

Young Grace Kelly, who later became Princess Grace of Monaco and tragically died in a road accident in 1982 at the age of 52, is stunning in her role.

But some of the acting is overdone, and the fight at the end appears a little contrived, at least by modern standards.

But despite some reservations, I find "High Noon" memorable, a film worth watching, mostly for its timeless human themes and its stark visuals.

To sum it up, the rising action of this movie was too dragged out for my taste.

It's purely riveting.

We were initially led to believe that kane was a headstrong and moral man defending a town against the evil Miller, only to find out that no one would help him, and even his fellow deputy wanted him to leave.

This film is slow, has no point and has a lackluster ending.

The pictures are stunning, the many close ups of faces beautiful and the plot is filled with suspense from the start to the end.

The movie is really intense and fun to watch.

It was worth the watch for sure.

The tensed and apprehensive look in the faces of the town-men before the fight, the sense of relief with which they erupt in the streets after the fight, the unexpected intervention of Marshall's young wife in a crucial time in the ploy makes the affair memorable.

There John would turn down all offers of help and not complain about the job, just like a real, pig-headed macho bore would do.

It's quite a compelling story and you really feel for the character of Will Kane.

HIGH NOON is an exciting and inspiring western.

When I think of westerns, I think of action packed hero vs.

In Ford's west, the interiors were cosy homesteads, whereas the open plain was romantic, exciting and slightly dangerous.

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.

May I say this film seemed a bit predictable too?

The suspenseful use of the clock is brilliant, as is the use of real time, and honest performances.

It creates a tremendous amount of suspense, but the whole movie is gimmick, and the suspense is empty.

High Noon, to me, was simply another drab Western movie with a cliché plot and story line that wasn't worth following.

He doesn't deliver one-liners or clichés that John Wayne often did in his movies, rather he immersed himself as a character who stands his ground against four men who are sent to kill him over his past.

Written with emotional complexities by screenwriter, Carl Foreman and beautifully directed by Fred Zinnemann the movie moves at a slow methodical pace that builds to to the final scene.

This film shows that it is possible to have a very exciting film without any swearing or constant bloodshed.

Some of the dialog is trite and hackneyed, even for the time.

Gregory Peck had turned it down, and it is fascinating to imagine Peck as Kane.

The second group I have delicately termed "small Westerns," usually low-budget, black-and-white stories – typically occurring over a small period of time – in which an ordinary man must summon all his courage to confront a gang of crazy and unpredictable cowboys.

A lonely town on the edge of the North American frontier falls victim to an evil, black-clothed, murdering desperado who can only be stopped by the good-natured, clean-cut, well-groomed sheriff or local hero.

On the whole, the film is very enjoyable.

In the end, like so many leaders, Kane leaves town, bitter and forsaken; feeling his sacrifices are unappreciated, his victory empty.

And in the spate of remakes that are being made, this is one which is crying out loud for a good director-actor to give the absolutely riveting concept and storyline the movie it so much deserves.

This is the most predictable and perhaps the longest 80 minute film of all time.

No matter how long, boring, or slow they play out, there's always someone big who says you should see them.

Katy Jurado plays Kane's former lover and one of the most intriguing female characters in any classic Western.

This film was boring and slow.

Besides the gripping final showdown, the film is really just a drama that happens to have the setting of a western.

The frustration of waiting an hour before a gun fight, the love story, and the classic camera shot of four men walking down an empty road, were scenes and plots that were introduced from this film.

But I think some westerns are enjoyable by non-western fans, such as "Unforgiven".

dull as it is .

Gary Cooper plays retiring Marshal Will Kane, who has just gotten married to a beautiful Quaker woman named Amy Fowler(Grace Kelley, stunning-looking, even in Black & White!

Thus the irony is that Foreman wrote an allegory hoping to promote subliminal leftist propaganda as a means of rebuking the conservative assumption that liberal filmmakers might introduce subliminal leftist propaganda into their work.

Perhaps the most politicized of westerns, hailed as a masterpiece when it first came out, then fashionably derided as the reputation of its director dipped, it now seems so familiar as to veer on the edge of parody.

High Noon is a compelling little film that takes place in real time.

This one is suspenseful and thrilling, and I find more to admire with every viewing.

A devastating rehearsal of what would come to be one of the genre's major concerns Telling its story of a recently retired marshal who finds himself friendless and alone to face four desperadoes on his wedding day, this gripping western respects the unities of time and place.

Perhaps I found the rising action too empty because my generation is not accustomed to westerns.

The story of he retiring sheriff Will Kane's efforts to get help from his town's citizens to face a mad killer and his gang seeking for vengeance, turns out to be a thrilling plot when all of them turn him down for selfish and different reasons.

surprisingly engaging film....

The plot of the movie was weak and very predictable.

The pacing of the film is slow and methodical.

The cowardice of the townspeople is all too contrived; the gang the ex-sheriff faces is small, unimpressive, and easily defeated.

and I have always enjoyed it immensely and found new details to ponder over and interpret.

Slow moving is an understatement.

Most of these films go for way too long and bore everyone to tears, even though most movie goers don't admit it.

this film goes by at a snail's pace and features two annoying main characters that make this a dud, not the revered classic gem that is supposed to be.

The slow walk up to the bartender to give him a richly deserved smack in the jaw...

DP Floyd Crosby achieves a gritty, documentary brilliance with the black-and-white imagery, eschewing the usual travelogue prettiness of the typical Western for a dusty banality.

My only criticisms are that Grace Kelly does seem much too young to be Cooper's wife, the relative ease with which he disposes of the supposedly unstoppable desperadoes and that pesky omnipresent theme song which just never goes away and ends up being, to these ears at least, extremely tiresome.

One last line for the song: the background song 'Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin' elevates the thrilling effect of this movie.

Lee Van Cleef's face looks so tough he could dull a Gillette razor just by staring at it.

Not only does the suspense, and the characters, hold the test of time as Kane prepares for his showdown against Miller and his cronies; High Noon is a fascinating tale of human nature as we see a man, who made the town safe enough to grow, walk from one corner to the next unable to find help.

It is a thrilling psychological movie, and succeeds as such as well as being damn good Western.

A deranged criminal, with his gang, is set to return to town and its fascinating to see how one by one every one in the town deserts the Marshal who did so much for them.

Predictable, with the depth of a mediocre TV Western teleplay .

All this leads to a finale of a good old-fashioned tension-building montage, one which is particularly effective thanks to its motifs of the clock, railroad track and empty chair having been prominently established throughout the picture.

As the word about man returning with noon train hit the small town everything just went down, people started to leave and overall fear kicked in for their lives and future.

In many ways, the picture seems like an irresponsible piece of propaganda masquerading as Americana.

" song that is overly bland and repeated far too many times.

Dull and Uninspired .

I think the movie is very compelling and of quality.

Watching paint dry is just as exciting as this movie.

Tense and Suspenseful Western .

My favorite sequence: An intercutting between Lloyd Bridges (as Harv the Deupty) going through an intense inner turmoil, and Kane walking alone in the street, over a piano version of "Buffalo Gals" playing from the saloon.

It makes the movie an absolutely compelling one to watch, even if you aren't really being into the western genre.

Pretentious, obvious and heavy-handed .

The film's best individual shot is a crane shot that starts as a closeup on Coop and slowly pulls away to reveal the dusty, seemingly empty town.

They want him to leave, probably knowing that he and his wife will be killed somewhere in the prairies, out of sight and out of mind.

Every man in town finds an excuse to opt out of helping Coop in his hour of need so that it's only fit and proper, after he completes his task, with the unexpected help of young wife Grace Kelly, that he wordlessly tosses away his badge and leaves town.

The simple plot is made exponentially more exciting by incorporating guns and violence, who doesn't love guns and violence?

The moral dilemma facing Will Kane (Cooper), his new wife,Amy (Kelly) and the various townspeople is gripping.

Compared to other Westerns I've seen, and in particular the so-called spaghetti westerns, High Noon is a slow / slack paced yawn with one of the sillier, more predictable endings I've seen in some time and particularly for a top-rated movie.

Even though I could tell what was about to happen, in some parts of the movie, it was still exciting.

This movie is a must-see hit that keeps watchers on the edge of their seat and finding a faint sympathy for the Marshal's dissever of love and war.

The script jettisons all the tiresome clichés of the genre and the black-and-white photography is haunting.

High Noon is possibly the most intelligent Western ever made and very watchable and exciting as well.

This story is a tense and suspenseful western, one of the best I have ever watched.

It is a story of responsibility in the face of overwhelming odds that I have used in my classes to show that a story can teach a lesson and still be very gripping and entertaining.

It is suspenseful.

this lends to tension but also the inevitable failure of its tiresome western style ending.

But who cares since the story is a compelling one.

The Gary Cooper figure, Will Kane was one such figure who may well have been to the odd 'meeting' and now needs upright citizens to testify to his essential 'goodness' and comes up empty.

It is the clock that makes this suspenseful Western work.

Contrived .

This technique keeps it interesting and making the film feel all the more suspenseful.


It's not just noon that's being referred to because that's common, uneventful, boring.

Released at an unfortunate time, got falsely misinterpreted as anti-McCarthy propaganda, which it never was meant to.

Innovative for its time, the suspenseful story unfolds in approximate real time from 10:40 a.

And it results in showing many scenes which in and of themselves are dull and talky -- not what you want in a western.

Not surprisingly, considering how inefficient this structure has been, the climax/showdown is flat and uninteresting.

This western is filled with thrilling scenes.

That made the movie very thrilling.

There's nothing special about it, and its themes are rather trite.

High Noon blew me away: it's a very short film but very dense; the concept is very simple but intriguing.

It is flat out boring in oh so many respects.

I will admit the photography is quite beautiful, but to consider this film a classic, let alone one of the greatest movies of all time, on the grounds of its alleged political relevance (by the way much as I loathe Mccarthyism, I find this 'metaphor' much too formal and tedious) is preposterous.

Right away after the opening, which gives you the impression that the story will be familiar, screenwriter Carl Foreman and director Frank Zinnemann construct a very deep, very complex, and compelling story that oddly enough parallels the political divides (maybe that's why it has such appeal for Mr. Clinton?

The story is marvellously suspenseful in structure and mood, and is this movie controversial?

Also, leading up to the climax was suspenseful.

It is based upon a short story rather than a novel, but it takes the viewer through a taunt tight gripping drama with some great acting.

But turning away from the allegorical politics, "High Noon" still stands as a classic film, examining traits of self-respect, heroism and on the converse side cowardice, along the way delivering a gripping, suspenseful 85 minutes of high tension and excitement.

The main reasons the film works as well it does is because of the outstanding script, the believability of all the actors, and the compelling camera work which paints a very different image on its cinematic canvas.

I thought it was very suspenseful.

I guess the Commies had to get their propaganda in somehow.

Great drama, thrilling suspense, and a happy ending to boot - what more could you want?

Unfortunately for the film, quite simply, everything that occurs is predictable.

Despite this, the film is still entertaining.

HGH NOON takes place in 'real' time, which makes it all the more suspenseful.

The movie is by far the best western I have ever seen - taut, exciting, well written, brilliantly acted and without a single wasted scene.

To go against the villain and his gang however he needs the help of anyone who can handle a gun like he can, but everyone he asks refuses because of they are too scared of being killed in combat, they and Amy just want him to leave town.

It is a movie void of the startling beauty and magnificence of the old west, an intense melodrama about inner turmoil, personal infliction, the confrontation of a man's own fear and the ultimate reassertion that right must triumph over might in order for law and order to prevail.

Still, it felt like it was dragged on just for the sake of having the film take place in real time.

All make the montage thrilling and unprecedented for a Western.

), a symbol of that pretentious youth which claims for a vested right power.

Katy Jurado as the much more "worldly" Helen Ramirez, the sheriff's former Latino lover, was stunning in her subdued and dignified presence.

I haven't seen a lot of western movies though, mainly because I used to think they were boring and repetitive, with long run times, long shots and not much of a plot.

Regarding the cast, Gary Cooper was good at portraying a man in various stages of desperation and finally in a bit of a silent panic, while Lloyd Bridges is in fine form, continuing his string of portraying good-looking, but empty-headed heels.

"High Noon" is an AFI loved snoozer.

And it is exciting.

It is quite interesting and somewhat intriguing.

This movie is very good and well worth watching.

The intro to the film with the three horse-riders riding into the small town and the onlookers reacting to them was breathtaking and utterly evocative.

Aesthetically, it is slow and talky and for the most part without tension.

A Tense and Suspenseful Western .

"The day cometh that shall burn like an oven," we are informed, and I for one found the film's climax rather disappointing after the intense build-up.

The streets are empty, the anticipation is on the faces of Miller's men's faces (including a young Lee Van Cleef!

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and highly recommend it as a movie to enjoy and ponder.

"High Noon" is a low-budget western with a tense and suspenseful storyline.

Gripping, original moral conflicts charge every scene.

This film is very easy to follow but very hard to stay awake through.

I certainly enjoyed it a lot more than I expected… Recommended.

Surely if he made that simple, compelling argument, his supporters would have come to his aid.

This movie kept me on the edge of my seat almost the whole time when I first saw it.

It's slow with a southern twang hitched to it, which is similar to the feel of the movie.

As the real time thriller approaches noon, you will be on the edge of your seat anticipating the classic western shoot out.

The best device in this movie - added after a preview called the film dull - is the constant showing of the clock, ticking away the precious minutes Kaine has.

Those iconic opening shots also establish right away the sense of dynamic rhythm, and this is integral to making High Noon enjoyable.

The movie can be classified as a western thriller with a suspenseful story told in nearly real time; a useful tool to engage audiences.

Maybe in the 50's it was a hot shot, today it is as boring as it is.

It works well both as a suspenseful adventure film and as a piece of social commentary in which the subtext explores the tendency of the general population not to get involved in dangerous matters.

Gary Cooper, always a thuddingly dull actor, gives easily his most boring performance.

The basic set-up is believable and compelling, and it gets things off to a quick start.

Very unpredictable twist plot there in the end.

This movie features everything a western should: love, gun slinging, plot buildup, and an exciting climax.

In the end, the propaganda is only as successful and meaningful as an audience will allow it to be.

Also it was very predictable.

As any good movie should, it quickly captures the viewer's intense interest soon into the story.

She easily upstages the better-known Grace Kelly, and is an unpredictable and edgy counterpoint to the straight-laced Kane.

It's about a lawman on the edge, and having to face a threat as best as he can.

One of the most riveting films I've ever seen.

Also the effects they used in the movie were cliché and bothersome.

This classic western is still exciting to watch more than fifty years after it was made.

One of the most intriguing aspects of this film is the ambiguity.

It is an unusual western, a classic at that, maybe more interesting than entertaining to watch.

It's thought provoking, as opposed to your standard, formulaic western of the time.

As far as I'm concern, the movie finishes with the last two minutes before noon, with interposing shots of Will Kane (Gary Cooper) writing his will, the clock and the pendulum, the empty railway track, various part of the town, close ups of the various key characters, finally culminating in the piercing, silence-breaking whistle and the approach of the noon train issuing menacing black smoke.

This is one of the most entertaining westerns ever made, provided you enjoy movies with great character interactions.