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High Noon (1952) Poster

(1952)

Trivia

Gary Cooper worked on the film for three weeks in September 1951.
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John Wayne strongly disliked this movie because he knew it was an allegory for blacklisting, which he and his friend Ward Bond had strongly and actively supported. Twenty years later he was still criticizing it in his controversial May 1971 interview with Playboy magazine. Inventing a scene that was never in the movie, he claimed Gary Cooper had thrown his marshal's badge to the ground and stepped on it. He also stated he would never regret having driven blacklisted screenwriter Carl Foreman out of Hollywood.
Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly had an affair that lasted for the duration of filming.
Lee Van Cleef was originally hired to play Deputy Harvey Pell. However, the studio decided that his nose was too "hooked", which made him look like a villain, and told him to get it fixed. He refused, and Lloyd Bridges got the part. Van Cleef was given the smaller role of gunman Jack Colby, one of the Miller gang.
Its loss in the Best Picture category to the much-derided The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), by Cecil B. DeMille, is usually cited as one of the biggest upsets in the history of the Academy Awards. This loss is often seen as an effort to satisfy Senator Joseph McCarthy, as DeMille was one of his biggest supporters.
Gregory Peck, an activist liberal Democrat who strongly opposed blacklisting, later said that turning down this film was the biggest regret of his career, although he modestly added that he didn't think he could have played the lead character as well as Gary Cooper did.
There was some question as to the casting of Gary Cooper, since he was 50 and Grace Kelly, playing his wife, was only 21.
This film was intended as an allegory in Hollywood for the failure of Hollywood people to stand up to the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Sen. Joseph McCarthy Red-baiting era.
Grace Kelly was cast after Stanley Kramer saw her in an off-Broadway play. He arranged a meeting with her and signed her on the spot.
A comic relief scene involving town drunk Jack Elam and an entire subplot with James Brown playing another marshal didn't make it into the final cut.
They used little to no makeup on the face of Gary Cooper, to show his lines and show how worried he was.
Ranked #2 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Western" in June 2008.
The movie is often described as "a western for people who don't like westerns".
The stable being burned to flush Gary Cooper happened during the last part of the movie, but the smoke from the stable fire appears in several earlier scenes.
Gary Cooper had a bleeding ulcer at the time of filming.
Bill Clinton's all-time favorite film. He watched it seventeen times during his two terms as President of the United States.
Although the picture takes place between 10:35 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.. slightly longer than the 84-minute running time, this was due to the re-editing ordered by Stanley Kramer and Fred Zinnemann, both of whom were unhappy over the first assemblage. Editor Elmo Williams experimented by using the final portion of the material shot and condensed it to exactly 60 minutes of footage timed to real-time in the film. Thus the film we see is Williams' experimental version, which met with both Kramer's and Zinnemann's approval.
In the fight scene involving Gary Cooper and Lloyd Bridges, Lloyd's son Beau Bridges, then a youngster, was in the hayloft watching the filming. When water was thrown on his father after the fight, Beau could not help laughing, requiring the scene to be shot a second time. Cooper was not well and in pain but was gracious and understanding, according to Lloyd.
Fred Zinnemann wanted a hot, stark look to the film. Cinematographer Floyd Crosby achieved this by not filtering the sky and having the prints made a few points lighter than normal.
Fred Zinnemann's meticulous planning enabled him to make 400 shots in only four weeks.
The film is set in Hadleyville, population 650, in the New Mexico Territory, on a hot summer Sunday. The 37-star flag the judge removes as he prepares to flee shows that the time frame is sometime between Nebraska's admission as the 37th state on March 1, 1867 and Colorado's admission as the 38th state on August 1, 1876.
In 1951, after 25 years in show business, Gary Cooper's professional reputation declined, and he was dropped from the Motion Picture Herald's list of the top 10 Box Office performers. In the following year he made a big comeback at the age of 51 with this film.
Until his death, director Fred Zinnemann fought not to have this film colorized, saying that he designed it in black and white and that it should be shown that way. He was unsuccessful, however. A colorized version was made by Republic Pictures, which acquired the film years prior, and was broadcast several times over the several cable outlets of Ted Turner, who was a heavy advocate of the process.
Katy Jurado says, "One year without seeing you" in Spanish, to which Cooper replies, "Yes, I know."
Director Fred Zinnemann said that the black smoke billowing from the train is a sign that the brakes were failing. He and the cameraman didn't know it at the time, and barely got out of the way. The camera tripod snagged itself on the track and fell over, smashing the camera, but the film survived and is in the movie.
Film debut of Lee Van Cleef, who does not have a word of dialogue.
Although John Wayne often complained that the film was "un-American", when he collected Gary Cooper's Best Actor Oscar on his behalf at the The 25th Annual Academy Awards (1953) he complained that he wasn't offered the part himself, so he could have made it more like one of his own westerns. He later teamed up with director Howard Hawks to make Rio Bravo (1959) as a counter-response.
Producer Stanley Kramer first offered the leading role of Will Kane to Gregory Peck, who turned it down because he felt it was too similar to The Gunfighter (1950). Other actors who turned down the role of Will Kane included Charlton Heston, Marlon Brando, Kirk Douglas, and Montgomery Clift.
It took 28 days to shoot the film, after 10 days of rehearsal.
This movie is rumored to play in real time. Several shots of clocks are interspersed throughout the film and they correspond with actual minutes ticking by.
Gary Cooper, B movie producer Robert L. Lippert and screenwriter Carl Foreman were set to go into a production company together, after the success of this film. John Wayne and Ward Bond ordered Cooper to back out of the deal, as HUAC was preparing to "blacklist" Foreman. Shortly afterward, Lippert was made persona non grata by the Screen Actors Guild, which destroyed his independent production company.
Writer Carl Foreman was blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee shortly after the film came out. In fact, he had fled to England by the time the film was finished.
As Carl Foreman's script bore certain similarities to John W. Cunningham's story "The Tin Star", producer Stanley Kramer bought the rights to Cunningham's novel to protect the production against accusations of plagiarism.
Gary Cooper was reluctant to do his big fight scene with Lloyd Bridges, as he was suffering from back pain at the time.
Hadleyville is the name of the town. It is never spoken but is clearly visible on the train station wall. Hadleyville was also the name of the town in Gung Ho (1986) but was placed in the northeast U.S. In the west, there is a real Hadleyville, in Oregon.
Gary Cooper didn't use a stunt double in the fight with Lloyd Bridges.
Stanley Kramer removed Carl Foreman's credit as producer. They never spoke to each other again.
The picture takes place between 10:35 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. slightly longer than the 84 minute running time.
They only took between 1-3 takes per scene.
The character played by Gary Cooper was originally named Will Doane. The name was changed to Will Kane because co-star Katy Jurado had difficulty pronouncing the name Will Doane.
"Do Not Forsake Me, Oh, My Darlin'" was the first Oscar-winning song from a non-musical film. and the first Oscar winning title song 'High Noon'
Much of the film was filmed in the gold rush town of Columbia, CA. Today it is a state park right by Sonora on Highway 49.
Though supposed to be the older man, at 45 Lon Chaney Jr. was actually five years younger than Gary Cooper.
Gary Cooper became a close friend of Carl Foreman during filming, and they continued to correspond for the rest of Cooper's life.
The 1980s were a tumultuous time in Poland. Workers' strikes in Gdansk led to the formation of the Solidarity movement. In 1980 Lech Walesa was elected chairman of this reform movement. The red and white Solidarity logo became an international icon that literally wrapped itself around the city, creating a visual momentum that lead to a political revolution. Once again, posters played a pivotal role in defining the future. In 1989, the day before the country was to vote on the political future of Poland, a poster featuring an image of Gary Cooper from this film was plastered on kiosks and walls around the country. This landmark image of the famous actor strolling towards the viewer depicted him carrying not a gun, but a voting ballot, and wearing a Solidarity logo above his sheriff's badge that read, "It's high noon, June 4, 1989." As Frank Fox, former professor of Eastern European History, stated, "Indeed, an American Western was an apt symbol for a political duel that marked the beginning of the end of Communism in Eastern Europe. Gary Cooper would have approved."
Although the film takes place between 10:35 a.m. and 12:15 p.m, you would need to start watching the film at 10:50 a.m. in order for Noon in real life to synchronize with the "High Noon" of the film.
Since Gary Cooper was 50, 38-year-old Lloyd Bridges was cast as twenty-something Harvey Pell.
Gary Cooper was responsible for getting soon-to-be-graylisted actor Lloyd Bridges the role of Harvey Pell.
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The wife of Sam, Harry Morgan's character, was named Mildred. In M*A*S*H (1972), Morgan's character, Col. Sherman Potter, also had a wife named Mildred.
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In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #27 Greatest Movie of All Time.
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Among other accomplishments, the film was a milestone in scoring. It introduced the idea of a theme song to be marketed separately from the movie, and to be a motif for the instrumental score throughout the movie. Tex Ritter--John Ritter's father--sang the song "Do Not Foresake Me", whose lyrics are from the point of view of the hero appealing to his new wife, Amy, to stay with him.
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The character of Will Kane was based on screenwriter Carl Foreman.
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Sheb Wooley, who played Ben Miller, had recording success in 1958 with the novelty "The Purple People Eater"(#1 US pop).
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Frankie Laine had a million-selling record with the title song "High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling)", though Tex Ritter's version of the song, heard on the soundtrack, has fared well over the years.
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The steady drum beat signifying confrontation in Frankie Laine's recording of "High Noon" was later employed by Roy Orbison in his 1961 signature hit, "Runnin' Scared".
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Floyd Crosby, the film's cinematographer, is the father of David Crosby of Crosby Stills Nash & Young.
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Floyd Crosby recounted a different version of the camera versus the train. He said the camera was placed in a hole dug between the tracks because they wanted the angle to be upward as the train stopped at the station. The train missed its mark and annihilated the camera. The film, however, survived. Mr. Crosby said he always thought they should have used the footage.
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In the showdown scenes, western film trivia buffs may notice a store called "Boyd's Hardware", apparently a reference to actor William Boyd, who played "Hopalong Cassidy" on TV. The years 1951-1952 were the height of Boyd's TV career as Hopalong Cassidy.
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In one scene is visible a posted bill for a production called "Mazeppa". Mazeppa was a literary character (written about by Byron, among others) who was tied to the back of a horse by his townsmen/countrymen; the horse was then whipped and sent out into the country, carrying the helpless Mazeppa with it. In one version of the story, Mazeppa survives, joins his former people's enemies, and returns with them to try to conquer his former town/country. This is somewhat reflected in the situation of Frank Miller--and even, perhaps, of Will Kane himself, who at the outset of the film is hastily sent off by his townsmen in a horse-drawn vehicle--with considerable reluctance on his part, before he decides to return (to little thanks from them).
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The name of the town in the film is Hadleyville, which was likely intended as an indirect reference to Mark Twain's "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg," a short story that has some thematic similarities with the film.
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Burt Lancaster was considered for the role of Will Kane.
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Henry Fonda missed out on the film because he was greylisted due to his political beliefs at the time.
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A little while after the Hadleyville railroad station arrival scene, the movie's place Hadleyville again appears on the town banks's nameplate - it simply says "Hadleyville Bank".
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In the french dubbed version, the song 'High Noon' ('Si toi aussi tu m'abandonnes') is performed by Claude Dupuis.
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Between takes Gary Cooper would chat with the crew or snooze underneath a tree.

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