CowboySpirit.TV - High Noon, starring Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, and Thomas Mitchell and directed by Fred Zinnemann, was strong at the box office on its release despite criticisms that it was not like typical western movies. Its allegory towards a community of suspicion and fear resonates, as does the idea of a man who is willing to stand up and fight alone, a common theme in western movies.
High Noon Little Known Facts
High Noon is the of many western movies in which Lee Van Cleef appears, although he has no dialogue. He was originally to act the part of Deputy Harvey Pell, but the studio thought he looked too much like a villain due to his nose. He refused to have plastic surgery, and subsequently was recast as gunman Jack Colby.
Former President Bill Clinton says that High Noon is his favorite film.
Most of the leading actors of the day turned down the role of Will Kane, including Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, Marlon Brando, Kirk Douglas, and Montgomery Clift.
Grace Kelly was awarded her role after producer Kramer happened to see her in an off-Broadway production.
High Noon was the first non-musical film to have a theme song marketed separately from the movie; its theme, “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’,” won an Oscar, the first Oscar ever awarded to a non-musical.
High Noon won a total of four Academy Awards: Best Actor, Best Film Editing, Best Music (Scoring), and Best Music (Song).
High Noon Behind the Scenes Trivia
The film was actually political, meant to provoke thought about McCarthysm’s far-reaching impact on Hollywood.
John Wayne made Rio Bravo as an “improvement” on High Noon, which he thought wasn’t American in spirit since it comes out strongly against blacklisting, something he supported.
The entire film was shot in just under a month, following ten days of rehearsal.
The actor who played Ben Miller, Sheb Wooley, later made it big with the recording hit “The Purple People Eater.”
The climax of High Noon was actually shot in the mid-afternoon due to problems with the weather.
Gary Cooper’s realistic performance was helped by the fact he was actually in pain during most of the filming, due to a bleeding ulcer.
Like many early western movies, High Noon was shot in California, including locations at Columbia State Historic Park and Tuolomne City.
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