UK Premiere: High Noon

UK Premiere: High Noon

classified U

When Europe Made Hollywood: From Sunrise to High Noon


Please note: This was screened in July 2022

Fred Zinnemann
Gary Cooper, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado, Grace Kelly
85 mins, 1952, USA
Primary language

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.

This 4K restoration is courtesy of Park Circus.