High Noon (1952)

High Noon (1952) (97) High Noon might be my favorite movie and bias is inevitable. Therefore, I’ll offer one critique: the recurring ballad sung by Tex Ritter is incredibly tacky, even if it is infectious. The song keeps cropping up at moments that cry out for something Morricone. Otherwise, the music – like the picture itself – is as enduring as anything Hollywood has fashioned. High Noon is a self-contained film course, supplying lessons in pacing, composition, and style. Cut that away and what’s left is the heart of American cinema (what’s right against what’s easy) and a great cast to champion it.

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