Cinema Rediscovered: High Noon

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BBFC RatingCinema Rediscovered: High Noon

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GenreDrama, Thriller, Western
Director(s)Fred Zinnemann
Writer(s)Carl Foreman
LanguageEnglish, Spanish
Running Time1HR 25MINS
SeasonCinema Rediscovered on Tour

Scripted by soon-to-be-blacklisted screenwriter Carl Foreman, Fred Zinnemann's High Noon is considered a classic of the western genre starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. Screening in a brand new 4K restoration as part of Cinema Rediscovered: When Europe Made Hollywood.

A town marshal, despite protests from his new bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent to jail years ago, arrives on the noon train.

High Noon – like Casablanca – is accepted as one of the quintessential classic American films, whose title has gone into the lexicon when Americans reference a tough decision. Its hero’s dilemma is the very epitome of the Western genre where “a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.”

However, against the background of the turmoil of America’s communist witch hunt – when the Government’s House Un-American Committee was trying to weed out 'reds-under-the-bed', High Noon reflected a more contemporary complex personal dilemma. It was written by Carl Foreman who, like many others in the 1930s and 1940s had been a member of the Communist Party, and was being called to testify.


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