High Noon
High Noon (1952)

In this classic western, a marshal prepares to retire from law enforcement because of his marriage to a Quaker. But upon learning that four outlaws will converge on the town at noon to kill him, he is torn between his sense of duty and his… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: July 24, 1952
DVD Release Date: October 23, 2001
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Critic Score: 96% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: A classic of the Western genre that broke with many of the traditions at the time, High Noon endures -- in no small part thanks to Gary Cooper's defiant, Oscar-winning performance.

TIME Magazine

High Noon combines its points about good citizenship with some excellent picturemaking.

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Derek Adams
Time Out

High Noon won a fistful of Oscars, but in these days of pasteboard screen machismo, it's worth seeing simply as the anatomy of what it took to make a man before the myth turned sour.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

It's the film's brevity that prevents it from soaring, since the stripped-down narrative generally allows only the widest of brush strokes when it comes to painting the characters and their situations. Cooper's performance is masterful, however.

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William Brogdon

Zinnemann carefully and deliberately makes the most of the mood cast by the threat of impending violence.

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Michael Atkinson
Village Voice

More than a half-century later, Foreman was right after all: High Noon is a scorching and sour portrait of American complacence and capacity for collaborationism.

David N. Butterworth

Deserving of its classic western status... although for a movie predicated on its titular twelve o'clock showdown, the gunfight itself is oddly anticlimactic.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Some of the results ring false, but the memorable theme song and some equally memorable character acting (by Thomas Mitchell and Lon Chaney Jr. more than Lloyd Bridges and Katy Jurado) help things along.

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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post

Regarded as '50s melodrama, it's nearly perfect.

Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

High Noon isn't really a masterpiece, and if you're a fan of more honest Westerns, it's hard not to notice Zinnemann's general lack of interest throughout. But it is a tense, effective little film.

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More reviews for High Noon

Flixster Audience Score: 89% Flixster User Reviews
Kevin M. Williams
The bad guy, who's a really bad guy, the guy sent to prison after luckily getting caught, the guy promising way violent revenge, he's out. And… More
Chris Weber
John Wayne once called this the most Un-American film he'd ever seen because he didn't like it's subtext which was very critical of McCarthyism… More
Carlos Magalh„es
At first the character's irrational insistence to stay in the city may be a puzzle for the viewer (and an infuriating contrivance), but soon it reveals a… More
Melvin White
Amy: Don't try to be a hero! You don't have to be a hero, not for me!† "Simple. Powerful. Unforgettable." Whenever the best films of the… More
Eugene Bernabe
In an era of flamboyant and charismatic westerns, High Noon takes a turn in a somewhat darker direction. The film does a remarkable effort to highlight the… More
Kase Vollebregt
'High Noon' deserves certain praise for the legacy it beholds and the story it tells. The performances may be overrated because all Cooper has to do… More