Wednesday, September 3, 2008

High Noon

Dir: Fred Zinnemann, 1952, bw (8.4*)
AFI Top 100
This seems a little standard by today’s measure of westerns, at the time it was landmark: it’s about a sheriff who arrests the brother of a notorious outlaw, who is now coming to get him on the noon train, with his gang; with the noon deadline, this is known as a "countdown plot". This would be standard but Oscar winner Gary Cooper plays the sheriff in perhaps his best part, as the last man of integrity in a town that won’t help him or stand up to the gang, and the production design and cinematography are outstanding. Katy Jurado is also terrific as Sheriff Kane's former lover. The only thing wrong with this film to me is that out of a town of fifty or more, certainly several men with rifles would have helped while hiding inside as the gang simply walks down main street. Also his wife is Grace Kelly, not exactly a frontier town without amenities type of woman, in any century! This was remade as the science fiction film Outland, with Sean Connery playing the sheriff on a mining colony. 4 Oscars

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.



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