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High Noon (1952)

PG  |   |  Drama, Western  |  30 July 1952 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 73,507 users   Metascore: 89/100
Reviews: 328 user | 149 critic | 7 from

A marshall, personally compelled to face a returning deadly enemy, finds that his own town refuses to help him.



(screenplay), (magazine story "The Tin Star")
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Title: High Noon (1952)

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Top 250 Movies #224 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Martin Howe (as Lon Chaney)
Sam Fuller (as Henry Morgan)
Ian MacDonald ...
Eve McVeagh ...
Morgan Farley ...
Harry Shannon ...
Jim Pierce (as Robert Wilke)
Sheb Wooley ...


On the day he gets married and hangs up his badge, lawman Will Kane is told that a man he sent to prison years before, Frank Miller, is returning on the noon train to exact his revenge. Having initially decided to leave with his new spouse, Will decides he must go back and face Miller. However, when he seeks the help of the townspeople he has protected for so long, they turn their backs on him. It seems Kane may have to face Miller alone, as well as the rest of Miller's gang, who are waiting for him at the station... Written by Man_With_No_Name_126

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When these hands point straight up...the excitement starts! See more »


Drama | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some western violence, and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

30 July 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A la hora señalada  »

Box Office


$750,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


They only took between 1-3 takes per scene. See more »


In the scene just after Kane leaves the barber shop and walks up the street sunlight can briefly be seen reflecting off cars passing by the set in the distant background. It is reportedly more noticeable in the theatrical release than on TV screens. See more »


Will: Stay at the hotel until it's over.
Amy: No, I won't be here when it's over. You're asking me to wait an hour to find out if I'm going to be a wife or a widow. I say it's too long to wait! I won't do it!
Will: Amy!
Amy: I mean it! If you won't go with me now, I'll be on that train when it leaves here.
See more »


Referenced in Melrose Place: The Young Men and the Sea (1994) See more »


Buffalo Gals (Won't You Come Out Tonight)
(1844) (uncredited)
Written by William Cool White
Played offscreen on piano in the saloon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Remarkably well-organised western in which not one single second is wasted and the tension is built up admirably.
16 April 2006 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

John Wayne was totally wrong to call this movie un-American. Courage and cowardice are universal emotions, and the attitudes of the characters in High Noon are, I think, incredibly truthful and telling. I know that if I lived in the Wild West, had a job and family, and was asked to stand up and fight against a gang of gun-toting psychos I would probably not be able to do it. That's why Gary Cooper's Will Kane is such a remarkable character in terms of self-respect, morality and inner strength. It's the way he MUST uphold the law even though it will perhaps cost him his wife and his life. It is the various townfolk with whom most of us will identify, even if it makes us feel shame or unworthiness to admit it. No matter how bravely we act, nor how much we want to think heroically of ourselves, 90% of us would cower in the shadows when the time came to do what Will Kane does in this movie.

On his wedding day, dependable lawman Will Kane (Gary Cooper) has just handed in his badge and is preparing to leave town with his bride Amy (Grace Kelly) when he receives devastating news. An old adversary, Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald), has been pardoned for crimes that he should have hanged for and is on his way to Kane's town of Hadleyville to get revenge. He is due on the noon train, leaving Kane one hour to either run for his life or make preparations to fight. Kane and Amy set off at full gallop, hoping to put some miles between themselves and danger, but Kane doesn't get far before he feels compelled to turn back. With the new sheriff not due for a day, he just can't let go of the extraordinary sense of duty and responsibility he feels towards his town. However when he gets back to town he gets quite a shock - for no-one has the guts (nor, in some instances, the inclination) to fight alongside him against the Miller gang. As time ticks unstoppably towards noon, Kane gradually realises that if he's going to stop Miller and his boys, he's going to have to do it alone!

Cooper's performance is extremely powerful and he received a thoroughly deserved Oscar for it. Kelly is good as his bride, although many viewers will find her character hard to like. Lloyd Bridges has a brilliant early role as Kane's deputy, while the very best of the supporting pack is Katy Jurado as a Latino woman whose "history" with most of the men in town puts her in an unenviable position when the shooting starts. Fred Zinnemann directs the film outstandingly, making each scene fit into the grander scheme of things with literate precision. Any aspiring young film-maker wanting to learn how to pace a film correctly should watch High Noon with a close eye, for it is unparallelled as the most perfectly paced film of all-time. The music by Dmitri Tomkin - plus that incredible ballad "Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling" by Tex Ritter - is just one more element that makes High Noon one of the great masterpieces. There's nothing else to say - if you haven't already, go out and see this film NOW!

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