ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY High Noon★★★★★ 2.55-4.40pm Film4
I’m hardly going out on a critical limb in naming writer Carl Foreman and director Fred Zinnemann’s 1952 classic as one of the western genre’s high-water marks. Told in real time, and in elegant, stark black and white, and eschewing many of the hallmarks of the horse opera, it sees Gary Cooper’s definitively decent New Mexico marshal (or ex-marshal; he intends to settle down with new bride Grace Kelly) rounding up a posse to intercept a criminal due to arrive by train at midday. Making up in McCarthy-era symbolism what it lacks in traditional action, High Noon grips every time, and seems to please those on both the political left and right.
Mismatched-cop movies don’t come more daftly enjoyable than this teaming of Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell. The plot sees them trying to clear themselves of a murder charge – if they don’t kill each other first.
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