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28 March 2016

Screen Gems: All sweaty on the Western front

Gary Cooper goes it alone in "High Noon." (Courtesy: loopedblog.com)

Have you ever put out the call for a little help and nobody showed up; maybe for a move or some heavy lifting?

Imagine how Gary Cooper's stone-faced Marshal Will Kane felt in the classic 1952 Western High Noon?

Call it the other Kane mutiny in the history of classic movies.

Cooper won his second Best Actor Academy Award (after Sergeant York in 1941) for his performance as a tight-lipped marshal whose honeymoon to his Quaker bride (Grace Kelly) is cut short by the news that an old nemesis is rolling into Hadleyville on the noon train.

It's about a hundred years or so too early to offer to order pizzas in exchange for help, so Kane must face down the bad guy all by himself as the clock ticks down to the noon hour in this Western not to be missed if you haven't seen it.

No wonder Tex Ritter's Ballad of High Noon or Do Not Forsake Me O My Darling took Best Song honors at the Oscars that year.

This tense drama plays out in real time.  So if you really want to sweat along with the good marshal, set your clock for 10:35 a.m. and click play.





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