High Noon Film Analysis

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Here is High Noon’s plot in brief for those who didn’t see it: Marshal Gary Cooper is ready to leave the town for his honeymoon, but stays to save the town from bad guys. He goes around the town seeking deputies, but no one wants to help him. Even his brand new wife leaves him. So, he does the dirty job alone – kills the bad guys, whom he sentenced to prison a couple of years ago, after which a corrupt judge freed them. According to Hawks, Rio Bravo was made as a riposte to High Noon. Whenever one movie is made in response to another movie, it is good to see the second movie to understand the first. Therefore, I found High Noon online, a film directed by Fred Zinnemann, where Gary Cooper stars, and watched it. Comparing the two films draws a better picture of a western hero and helps to better understand his character and his entire personality. Both heroes – John Wayne and Gary Cooper – are legal authorities. John Wayne was put in a similar situation as Gary Cooper because Hawks wanted to juxtapose the “right” hero, Wayne, to the “wrong” one, Cooper. Both heroes are “good”, i.e. skilled enough to handle a gun better than others, smart,…show more content…
Or, is Wayne a better hero then Cooper? I would totally disagree with Hawks. Cooper and Wayne are both heroes, and both are equally “good” heroes. Going “around the town like a chicken with his
head off asking for help” is heroism. Coming back to clear the town from bad guys and risking his life for people that even don’t want his help is not foolishness, it’s heroism. It’s just different kind of hero than Wayne. Taking justice in his hands and killing the bad guys is still heroism (recall Odysseus). Wayne is an obvious hero during the entire movie. Cooper is a hero as well, but nobody sees that until he has finished shooting and the end of the movie. Therefore, in my opinion, Cooper and Wayne are both heroes with different “Sitz im Leben” and different heroic

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