High Noon (1952)

High Noon (1952), directed by Fred Zinnemann.

A now classic tale, shown in real time, of a killer arriving on the noon train and the marshal abandoned by his townspeople.

A meditation on courage and duty, not always clear in its message: the marshal claims he is just being practical, that running away from the gang would be bad tactics, but we don't necessarily believe him.

Being a debate on ethics, it is more talky than most westerns. Was the West really settled by such timid folk?

We have a big set of familiar faces. Much as I admire Grace Kelly she seems a bit insipid here, particularly next to fiery Katy Jurado, who knows a Real Man when she sees one. He's just no longer her man.

Dimitri Tiomkin score. A strange drumming-and-mumbling motif is used during the film. The main theme is sung by Tex Ritter. I think of it as "Do Not Forsake Me, O My Darlin'" but it is properly "The Ballad of High Noon".

Available on Blu-ray from Olive Films. Mine was a Netflix rental; I don't remember getting an Olive disc from there before, but maybe it's just been a while.