-

Jump to content



Sign up for a free account!

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and you won't get the popup ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo

Is "High Noon" the Greatest Western ever made?


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
76 replies to this topic

#1 of 77 Robert Crawford

Robert Crawford

    Studio Mogul

  • 24,358 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 09 1998
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMichigan

Posted October 18 2002 - 11:10 PM

After watching "High Noon" for the third time this week due to the new dvd release and making comparisons between this release and the previous dvd release, I think it's approriate to talk about "High Noon" again especially in comparison to other great westerns such as "The Searchers" and "Rio Bravo". For most of my life, I thought both, "The Searchers" and "Rio Bravo" were the best westerns ever made, but over the years "High Noon" has been climbing my personal opinion chart in comparison to those other two great films. Matter of fact, I'm ready to state something that I never thought would happen and that is "High Noon" is perhaps the best western ever made and in some regard bypasses "The Searchers" and "Rio Bravo". This is very strange for me to admit this because "The Searchers" has been and still is my favorite film of all-time, but after taking a very deep look into "High Noon" while watching a couple of features about the film as well as an audio commentary about the film, I came away with a more appreciative opinion about "High Noon" and it's place in cinematic history.

I know others will want to challenge my assertion and perhaps debate the status of the three films I have mentioned in my post which is why I think this thread is an appropriate place for this discussion to occur. I have linked two other previous threads about westerns to read again for those willing to participate in this discussion.

Howard Hawks: Rio Bravo

The Searchers and Red River






Crawdaddy

Crawdaddy

 

Blu-ray Preorder Schedule

 


#2 of 77 george kaplan

george kaplan

    Executive Producer

  • 13,064 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 14 2001

Posted October 19 2002 - 01:08 AM

I'll only chime in briefly, since past experience tells me that my opinions about westerns piss off people.

Of the four films you mentioned, I think High Noon is easily the best.

Of all westerns, I think High Noon is the 5th best ever.

Of all 'serious' westerns, I think it is the 4th best ever.

Is the new version of Hign Noon better looking than the old one? I've read some reviews, but I haven't found any head to head comparisons.
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#3 of 77 Robert Crawford

Robert Crawford

    Studio Mogul

  • 24,358 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 09 1998
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMichigan

Posted October 19 2002 - 01:15 AM

I'll only chime in briefly, since past experience tells me that my opinions about westerns piss off people.

George,
Why would people be pissed off for you having a different opinion? Also, name the westerns you feel are the best.

Also, the newest dvd release is an improvement with the video presentation, but moreso with the audio.




Crawdaddy

Crawdaddy

 

Blu-ray Preorder Schedule

 


#4 of 77 Eric Peterson

Eric Peterson

    Screenwriter

  • 2,959 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 02 2001

Posted October 19 2002 - 01:40 AM

It's funny that you compare the movie to "Rio Bravo" and also mention "Red River". Did you ever hear what Howard Hawks had to say about "High Noon"? He thought that it was complete garbage to paraphase him. "High Noon" was his primary reason for making "Rio Bravo". He called it the anti-"High Noon".

I'm not completely in the Hawks' camp on this, but I can think of several Westerns that I enjoy more than "High Noon", primarily the ones that you already mentioned, but I also agree that "High Noon" is a great film.

As a side note, I recently read or heard an interview with Roger Ebert, where he said the exact opposite of you. He said that he used to love "High Noon", but through additional screenings through the years, he has come to realize that it isn't a very good movie. I don't remember exactly what his reasons were for saying this.

All in all, there's something about "High Noon" that doesn't totally agree with me, but I haven't seen it for a coule of years. I'll be picking up the new SE and watching it again and hopefully checking out the commentary and documentary. If this thread is still active, I'll chime back in with any additional thoughts.

My personal faves in approximate order.
1. The Searchers
2. Rio Bravo
3. Red River
4. High Plains Drifter
5. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
6. High Noon
7. Winchester '75
8. Bend of the River
9. Tombstone
10. Unforgiven

#5 of 77 Larry Sutliff

Larry Sutliff

    Screenwriter

  • 2,853 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 17 2000

Posted October 19 2002 - 01:48 AM

I think HIGH NOON is very near the top of the heap; the only other serious contender for best western IMHO is THE SEARCHERS. My top five Westerns would be:
1.HIGH NOON
2.THE SEARCHERS
3.RIO BRAVO
4.RED RIVER
5.DODGE CITY(just good old fashioned fun; an underrated gem by Michael Curtiz)

#6 of 77 Robert Crawford

Robert Crawford

    Studio Mogul

  • 24,358 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 09 1998
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMichigan

Posted October 19 2002 - 01:54 AM

It's funny that you compare the movie to "Rio Bravo" and also mention "Red River". Did you ever hear what Howard Hawks had to say about "High Noon"? He thought that it was complete garbage to paraphase him. "High Noon" was his primary reason for making "Rio Bravo". He called it the anti-"High Noon".

I'm well aware of Howard Hawks and John Wayne's opinion of "High Noon" which is why I connected "Rio Bravo" to this thread. I don't agree with them and I found it rather funny that it took them 7 years to make a rebuttal to a film that was released in 1952. Furthermore, I don't believe the filmmakers intended "High Noon" to be as entertaining as other westerns, but instead chose to make a film with deeper thought-provoking aspirations.




Crawdaddy

Crawdaddy

 

Blu-ray Preorder Schedule

 


#7 of 77 Andrew_Sch

Andrew_Sch

    Screenwriter

  • 2,156 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 30 2001

Posted October 19 2002 - 02:24 AM

Here's how I'd rank the Westerns I've seen:

1. Unforgiven
2. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
3. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
4. The Searchers
5. High Noon
6. High Plains Drifter

And a bunch of others I can't remember at the moment.
"Old theatres are irreplaceable. They could never be duplicated at today's costs - but more importantly, their spirit could not be duplicated because they remind us of a day when going to the show was a more glorious and escapist experience. I think a town's old theatres are the sanctuary of...

#8 of 77 Jim_K

Jim_K

    Executive Producer

  • 10,089 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 07 2000

Posted October 19 2002 - 02:51 AM

Well to start off I'd consider myself a Western film buff.

High Noon is a film that I respect much more than enjoy. It's one of a handful of deservedly called Classic films that for some reason I hold at a distance. I just don't connect with it on a personal level I guess.

There's no doubt it's one of the most influential Western films ever made but I'd place a few other Westerns ahead of it on my greatest list.

Such as:
The Wild Bunch
The Searchers
Red River
Once Upon a Time in the West
The Good, Bad & Ugly
Naked Spur
Man of the West
Unforgiven
Man Who Shot Liberty Valence


As for Rio Bravo - I certainly enjoy it more than High Noon but I don't consider it the better film.
Death before Streaming!


#9 of 77 Steve Christou

Steve Christou

    Executive Producer

  • 14,228 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 25 2000
  • Real Name:Steve Christou
  • LocationLondon, England

Posted October 19 2002 - 04:29 AM

High Noon is one of the greatest westerns ever made, but I personally wouldn't put it at the top of the heap.
The general consensus among critics and film buffs is that John Ford's The Searchers is the greatest western ever, sort of the Citizen Kane of this genre.

Both are great westerns, and I like both films a lot, but in my opinion the best western ever made is not even American, I know that may be blasphemous, but I would put Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West as the greatest western of them all, with The Good The Bad and the Ugly up in the top five too.

Of American westerns, I would pick Red River as best Black and White western ever and Rio Bravo as best color western, I think in this particular genre B/W or Color does make a huge difference in the style and mood of the film.

My Darling Clementine would be my 2nd choice for best B/W western.

"The most un-American thing I have ever seen!"
John Wayne on 'High Noon'.

Dave hören... auf, wille stoppen sie Dave... stoppen sie Dave... Mein gehirn geht... Ich bin gefühl es... Ich bin gefühl es... Ich bin ängstlich Dave... Guter Nachmittag. Ich bin ein HAL 9000 computer. Ich wurde funktionsfähig am HAL-Betrieb in Urbana, Illinois auf January 12 1992.


Lord of the Hubs


#10 of 77 Thi Them

Thi Them

    Producer

  • 3,650 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 20 1999

Posted October 19 2002 - 04:53 AM

Once Upon a Time in the West is at the top my list, followed by High Noon. Then Rio Bravo would be the second best color and Red River would be the second best B&W.

Did anyone else see the PBS Documentary called Darkness at High Noon that aired a month or two ago?

~T

#11 of 77 michael deakin

michael deakin

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 182 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 20 2000
  • Real Name:Michael Charles Deakin
  • LocationWarrington

Posted October 19 2002 - 05:07 AM

Hi guys.
Im surprised nobody's mentioned.

THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES or
JEREMIAH JOHNSON or
TRUE GRIT or
THE SHOOTIST.
mike

#12 of 77 Robert Crawford

Robert Crawford

    Studio Mogul

  • 24,358 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 09 1998
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMichigan

Posted October 19 2002 - 05:38 AM

Both are great westerns, and I like both films a lot, but in my opinion the best western ever made is not even American, I know that may be blasphemous, but I would put Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West as the greatest western of them all, with The Good The Bad and the Ugly up in the top five too.

Though, I appreciate both Leone's films as fine westerns, I always thought they were a little overrated. The western feel for both films just wasn't right enough for me to consider them as being the best of that genre. At the same time, I can respect those that feel High Noon, Red River, Rio Bravo, and The Seachers are overrated, I guess it's a matter of personal taste and acceptance.




Crawdaddy

Crawdaddy

 

Blu-ray Preorder Schedule

 


#13 of 77 michael deakin

michael deakin

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 182 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 20 2000
  • Real Name:Michael Charles Deakin
  • LocationWarrington

Posted October 19 2002 - 05:54 AM

Sorry guys i forget to mention.

"SHENANDOAH"
mike

#14 of 77 Dome Vongvises

Dome Vongvises

    Lead Actor

  • 8,174 posts
  • Join Date: May 13 2001

Posted October 19 2002 - 05:57 AM

Robert Crawford said:
Quote:
George, Why would people be pissed off for you having a different opinion? Also, name the westerns you feel are the best.


You obviously haven't heard of george's latest exploits. Posted Image

Anyway, I think High Noon is one of the greatest westerns ever made. I'm still debating on whether I like it or Tombstone a lot better.

As for my personal, humble opinion of Rio Bravo and The Searchers, I think they're good, but the latter is certainly overrated. I think a lot of kudos is given to The Searchers simply because John Wayne for once doesn't portray a clean-cut "good guy". He's rascist, he's single-mindedly bent on revenge, and
he wants to kill his own kin.
Granted there's also come good cinematography, but I was pretty underwhelmed by it.

#15 of 77 Dome Vongvises

Dome Vongvises

    Lead Actor

  • 8,174 posts
  • Join Date: May 13 2001

Posted October 19 2002 - 06:01 AM

BTW, I still have yet to see My Darling Clementine, How The West Was Won, and Once Upon A Time in the West.

#16 of 77 Tim RH

Tim RH

    Second Unit

  • 375 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 20 2001

Posted October 19 2002 - 07:49 AM

Here's my Top Five Westerns:

1. The Searchers
2. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
3. Unforgiven
4. Rio Bravo
5. High Noon

I think that THE SEARCHERS is the epitome of what a western on film is, and should be. In my opinion the best western of all time has to be one with indians in it.


#17 of 77 Robert Crawford

Robert Crawford

    Studio Mogul

  • 24,358 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 09 1998
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMichigan

Posted October 19 2002 - 07:59 AM

In my opinion the best western of all time has to be one with indians in it.
Now, you're really opening a can of worms for a western film debate.Posted Image

Crawdaddy

 

Blu-ray Preorder Schedule

 


#18 of 77 Jack Briggs

Jack Briggs

    Executive Producer

  • 16,725 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 03 1999

Posted October 19 2002 - 08:19 AM

As an aside, I attended a private 16mm screening of High Noon and Stagecoach at a person's house back in the mid-'70s. Both were excellent prints. Wonderful experience. (Sorry for hijacking, CD!)

#19 of 77 Todd Terwilliger

Todd Terwilliger

    Screenwriter

  • 1,745 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 18 2001

Posted October 19 2002 - 08:21 AM

No fans of Shane?

High Noon definitely ranks among the top westerns.
This message ends with Todd.

Hey kid you got no class. Hit the bums, kid. Run like the devil. Get a tin can and take up mooching. Knock on back doors for a nickel.
Tell them your story. Make 'em weep. You could have been a meat-eater, kid. But you didn't listen to me when I laid it down.
Stay off...

#20 of 77 Mitty

Mitty

    Supporting Actor

  • 885 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 13 1999

Posted October 19 2002 - 08:45 AM

I think High Noon, like many movies, gets some of its praise due to its subject matter, or what it's about.

Sort of like how Dances With Wolves might be seen by some as a better film than Goodfellas (ah, that old debate) since its subject matter is deemed more "important." Yes, it's a great film, but not for the reasons they think it is.

I think High Noon IS a great film, but no, not the greatest western ever. Gary Cooper is terrific; it's one of his best performances. His fear is as palpable as his resolve, and he accomplishes this pretty much using his eyes and his mannerisms. It's also elegant in its simplicity; there's not a lot of fat to be trimmed. Rather than, say, showing the bad guys imminent approach, firing shots into the air, and terrorizing everything in their path (or some such thing), Zinneman just keeps showing shots of the railroad tracks and the clock.

It's as easy to look back 50 years and call a movie like High Noon "quaint" as it is to look back and smirk at John Wayne's ridiculous reaction to it. But there is a lot of subtext to this movie, it's as subversive in its own way (and for its own time) as something like The Wild Bunch would be almost 20 years later.