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"High Noon" 1952 Stanley Kramer


Stanley Kramer released a Western film in 1952 entitled “High Noon”, which was a real time-based film where the entire story took place within the 90 minutes of this movie. During the 90 minutes, there was lots of action in conjunction with dialogue and music that helped viewers follow along the entire movie and to foreshadow the next future events between the protagonists Marshall Will Kane (Gary Cooper) and his wife Amy Kane (Grace Kelly) and the antagonists, Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald) and his three other gang mates, Jack, Jim and Ben.


Frank Miller, the gang’s leader wanted to kill and assassinate the marshal, Will Kane on Will’s wedding day to Amy Kane. Once hearing that, they immediately escaped so they can avoid the attack. Then, they decided to come back to defeat the gang. Throughout the movie, there were several instances of a clock being shown to represent that this entire story is all taken place in a short time period. Additionally, the tone of the soundtrack changed from hopeful to hopeless where some scenes illustrated Will and Amy escaping into the rural country and other scenes when the fellow gang members were waiting at the train station.


A scene that was significant that lead to the climax and resolution was that Will interrupted a church service to recruit deputies because Frank Miller was on his way, and as a result, most of the audience knew that he and his gang were a big threat to Will and the town. Minutes prior to their arrival, most of the town went into lockdown. Prior to the gang’s arrival, there was a montage portrayed of different people’s perspectives and reactions to the warning of what might happen when the gang starts roaming the streets. Finally, there was a gunfight and a chase that lasted for the final ten minutes of the film. In the gunfight, the gang members kept shooting continuously, even though nobody was around. Once Will and Amy spotted them, they started to hide in a place where nobody else can see them. As a result of them hiding and being “snipers”, their goal was achieved to save the town.


During the 1950s, America was known for the “Golden Age” of Western films. This movie had some aspects of a film noir and an early American New Wave film. Although Westerns were very common in the 1950s, the movies were mostly dominated by musicals and historical based stories. An aspect that made this film a film noir was that there were love triangles and a major central conflict of where Marshall Will Kane was going to be killed by a gang of four people. The gunfight scenes could have been a major influence for the American New Wave, which began to emerge mid 1960s. Stanley Kramer wanted to show a movie to viewers that had a quite unique plot line and an overall movie that likely has not been shown too many times in the theaters.

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