An Expat Life: Nicaragua Blues and Ruse

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

High Noon

Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Tex Ritter songs....need I say more? The classic arch-type Western. Or is it? Honorable lawman versus the yellow-bellied outlaws....a mismatch, showdown in the streets......yet justice prevails.

Despite technical difficulties (thanks Netflix) and a tick infestation of epic proportions (thanks Stella and Managua), we were quite distracted trying to watch this great, albeit short, Western classic.

Thanks to a glitchy DVD and a dog littered with ticks, I had a hard time taking in the subtleties of this flick. Yet, it is interesting to note, in 1952, as the Cold War escalated, how Gary Cooper personified the increasingly lonely global struggle against the evil Communist menace. Or, was it a statement against the stifling blacklist that had begun in Hollywood? Instead, perhaps it was just a simple Western tale of Good vs. Evil?

At any rate, Gary Cooper bounces around town, looking for a posse, for a fight that can't be won, a fight for honor, for justice sake.....and there aren't any takers. Instead, through the 'real time' of this short film, an hour and a half slice of time from the 19th century Wild West, we learn a lot about human motivation, vice, and virtue (or lack thereof) that pervade society today, as seen in pretty much any struggle you care to examine.

Much to my surprise, High Noon is not some cliche B-Western that happened to have a marquee name in Gary Cooper. Instead, it is a thought-provoking film that ages like fine wine. Easily one of the best 5 Westerns I have seen.

Worth the Hype or Not Worth the Hype? Worth the Hype Definitely. I had my reservations, even about 25-30 minutes into the film. But, the suspense, and the intelligent social commentary, make this a must-see for those interested in the Western genre, as well as overall American cinema. High Noon belongs on the short list of the best Westerns ever made.

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