PAUSE IT: What do you see? A lone figure, town marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) in a vast frame. From a distance, we note the sparseness of the shot’s design. Director Fred Zinnemann depicts Kane’s sense of isolation in the climactic moments of his classic western, High Noon (1952). The film centers on a town sheriff whose sense of duty will not allow him to desert his town in its time of need. A dangerous killer, Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald) has sworn revenge on Kane and is on his way back to town to kill the marshal. When Kane ask his friends and neighbors for help, they refuse him, leaving the lawman to fend for himself. But what of this ghost town? With use of a high angled crane shot, Zinnemann is able to externalize the forsaken Kane’s interior state of mind. From a bird’s eye distance above the rooftops we are privileged to an almost omnipotent point of view. What danger awaits Kane only the fates now know.
This iconic Western is coming to Olive Signature on September 20th. The new Blu-ray and DVD are mastered from a new 4K restoration and contain the following extras:
“A Ticking Clock” – Academy Award nominee Mark Goldblatt on the editing of High Noon
“A Stanley Kramer Production” – Michael Schlessinger on the eminent producer of High Noon
“Imitation of Life: The Blacklist History of High Noon” – with historian Larry Ceplair and blacklisted screenwriter Walter Bernstein
“Ulcers and Oscars: The Production History of High Noon” – a visual essay with rarely seen archival elements, narrated by Anton Yelchin
“Uncitizened Kane” – an original essay by Sight and Sound editor Nick James
High Noon (1952)
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Director of Photography: Floyd Crosby
Starring Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado, Lon Chaney Jr., Harry Morgan
Available from Olive Films on DVD and Blu-ray.