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.
On the day he gets married and hangs up his badge, Marshal 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
In 1951, after twenty-five years in show business, Gary Cooper's professional reputation was in decline, and he was dropped from the Motion Picture Herald's list of the top ten box-office performers. In the following year he made a big comeback, at the age of fifty-one, with this film. See more »
In the climactic crane shot when Kane is alone in the town square, high-voltage power lines and poles are clearly visible in the skyline. See more »
[to his wife]
Well, whaddya want? Do you want me to get killed? Do you want to be a widow, is that what you want?
See more »
On the day of his wedding with Amy (Grace Kelly) and simultaneous retirement of the position of Marshal, Will Kane (Gary Cooper) receives a telegram advising that the criminal Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald) had been released from the prison. Now he is coming to the town in the noon train to kill Kane, as he promised in the judgment. Kane arrested Frank five years ago and he was sent to North to be hanged. However he was sentenced to life and for some unexplained reason, Frank was pardoned and released. Three other gunmen are in the station waiting for Frank. Having less one hour and half to organize his defense, Kane tries to organize a posse but sees every citizen turns back to him, in a cowardly way and he stands alone against the killers.
"High Noon" is a low-budget western with a tense and suspenseful storyline. The tension is built in real time and Gary Cooper has an outstanding performance in the role of a Marshal moved by his duty to protect the town that does not deserve him. It is sad to see his former friends finding excuses to turn down his request for helping. The performances are top notch and the viewer gets tense while the clocks show the fatidic noon coming. Grace Kelly is astonishing beautiful and finds redemption in the conclusion when she saves Kane. The final scene when Kane drops his badge on the dirty floor is memorable. "High Noon" is certainly one of the most credible westerns of the cinema history and might be one of the best. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): 'Matar ou Morrer' ('To Kill or To Die')
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