Directed by Fred Zinnemann • 1952 • United States
Starring Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell
Gary Cooper stars in this real-time western as a sheriff looking forward to retirement and marriage whose plans are upended by the news that a gang of outlaws are on their way to gun him down. Though his Quaker bride (Grace Kelly, in her first major film role) wants him to flee and the townspeople refuse to help him, his sense of duty compels him to stand his ground until the fateful hour. Shot through with political resonance—the screenplay was written by Carl Foreman, a victim of the Hollywood blacklist—HIGH NOON reimagined the most quintessentially American movie genre as a moral testing ground for the individual conscience.