Directed by Fred Zinneman. US. 1952. NR. 85 minutes. Paramount.. 35mm.
Sun., April 1, 2012
Leading off our month of classic films dealing with issues of moral courage, we bring you one of Hollywoods most memorable westerns. The story is a simple one: strong, silent Gary Cooper, a lawman, is about to get married to a Quaker girl (Grace Kelly, at her loveliest) and retire as sheriff, when he finds out that a ruthless killer that he had put away has been released and is heading back to town on the noon train, bent on revenge. Everyone wants him to leave town before the killer comes, but he feels duty-bound to stay and fight, standing alone if necessary. This is a film that defines, for now and forever, the basic concept of Western Philosophy: A Mans Gotta Do What a Mans Gotta Do. Played in real time, with the clock ticking down to noon and the title tune playing ever more insistently in the background, this suspenseful classic won Oscars for Gary Cooper, as well as for the editing and for Dimitri Tiomkins haunting song (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin) as performed by legendary cowboy star, Tex Ritter, Johns dad. Dont miss it! (Bill Roth)