Thursday, August 18, 2016
High Noon (Fred Zinnemann, 1952)
The Searchers (John Ford, 1956) or The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969). It's true that High Noon was overpraised at the time, winning four Oscars -- for Cooper, film editors Elmo Williams and Harry W. Gerstad, composer Dimitri Tiomkin for the score and, with lyricist Ned Washington, the song "High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin')" -- and nominations for best picture, director, and screenplay. But that the Academy should even have acknowledged the virtues of a Western, a genre it typically looked down upon, is significant -- even though it reverted to its usual indifference to the genre a few years later, when it entirely ignored The Searchers.