High Noon, the 1952 western directed by Fred Zinneman, is about Will Kane, the marshal of Hadleyville. He is just about to retire with his wife, devout Quaker Amy, when he finds out that outlaw Frank Miller is coming on the noon train. Since he is a dangerous career criminal, Will decides to stop him before he causes any more trouble. However, when he tries to deputize the townsfolk, they are too scared to do it. In fact, they encourage him to leave the town without facing Miller. Unfortunately, the few people who want to help are too drunk or young. As the clock ticks down, the marshal writes out his last will and testament in case he dies fighting Miller and his gang. Can Will survive and defeat Frank Miller’s gang?
This film is a metaphor for the need to have moral courage and do the right thing; even if there is a risk you will get killed. Although Will’s wife actually does follow her convictions since Quakers are opposed to violence. She does end up going back because of her conscious. It’s also noted that Will could also have taken the easy way out and fled. However, he believes it would have been worse since Frank could have done even more damage. The ending is unconventional but completely understandable as no one wanted to help Will so he had to stop the gang with only his wife. Some viewers may find the movie a little long, though to be fair, it’s to show the agonizing wait until Frank Miller’s arrival. Still Honolulu western fans should add this movie to their collection.
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