On the day of his wedding and retirement, Marshal Will Kane all of a sudden must face gangster Frank Miller, who was released from prison instead of being hanged and has gathered a gang of three to kill him.
This psychological western directed by Fred Zinnemann won Academy Awards for Best Actor (Gary Cooper), Best Editing, Best Music and Best Song (Dimitri Tiomkin), and was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. On a budget of 750,000 US $, it made 18,000,000 US $ in the theaters worldwide in 1952.
The film was very popular despite some mixed reactions, because of it’s political implications. Oddly enough, many of those views feel paradox today: In the communist Soviet Union the film was criticized as “a glorification of the individual.” Actor John Wayne who was a supporter of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals (MPA) stated that High Noon was the most un-American thing he had ever seen in his whole life.
The film was shot in the times of the “Second Red Scare“, and writer/producer Carl Foreman (who won an Academy Award for his screenplay for “The Bridge on the River Kwai” in 1957) ended up being blacklisted.
The film’s stars are Gary Cooper as the Marshal, Grace Kelly as his Quaker bride, Lloyd Bridges as Deputy Marshal and Katy Jurado (who won as first Mexican actress ever a Golden Globe for her role) as Helen Ramirez. Look out for “Wolfman” Lon Chaney, Jr. as Martin Howe and Spaghetti Western cult star Lee Van Cleef as one of the bad guys.
“I will always think of myself as a Hollywood director, not only because I grew up in the American film industry, but also because I believe in making films that will please a mass audience, and not just in making films that express my own personality or ideas.” (Fred Zinnemann)