“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
“You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If you’re honest you’re poor your whole life and in the end you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star.”
50s Hollywood was a rough time. Professional nut job, homophobe, alcoholic and senator, Joe McCarthy had decided the commies were taking over and they were doing it through the pictures. Writers, directors and actors were being blacklisted left and right for either being suspected reds, or for refusing to name names of those who others suspected of being reds. High Noon is a great movie regardless of when it was made or the issues it was tackling. But when I read that it was a big screw you to McCarthyism, made at the height of McCarthyism, High Noon became nothing short of phenomenal.
Three outlaws, lead by Sam Fuller (Harry Morgan) ride into a small western town. The reactions of townsfolk make it obvious that these three men are notorious ‘round them parts. But not nearly as notorious as their former leader, Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald). Miller’s gang was broken and Miller arrested by local Marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper). At first sentenced to death, Miller’s sentence was later reduced to life in prison, and now, it turns out he’s been released early and is on the next train to town, due at midday. (more…)