The 1952 classic western "High Noon" will play on the big screen at Roanoke's historic Grandin Theatre this Saturday March 8. The movie is presented by Friendship Retirement Community as part of the Grandin's Classic Film Series which screens a golden oldie the second Saturday of each month. Showtime is 10 a.m. in the theatre's main auditorium. Admission is free.
"High Noon" is esteemed as one of Hollywood's greatest in the western genre though it is more of a drama than an action picture. The legendary Gary Cooper stars as retiring Marshal Will Kane. He's about to set off on his honeymoon with his new bride Amy (Grace Kelly in her first major film role) when he receives word that Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald) and three others are coming to town and gunning for him. With the new marshal yet to arrive and cowardly townspeople afraid to make a stand, Kane takes on the classic one man stands alone role and stays to meet them.
The story plays out in real time with the length of the film. Suspenseful cut in shots of the ticking clock and Tex Ritter singing the immortal words "do not foresake me, oh my darlin'" helped earn the movie seven Oscar nominations. Cooper, 50 years old, in poor health and with his stardom waning at the time, was cast after several major stars turned it down. His work won him the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Actor.
The movie also won Oscars for Editing, Score and Original Song. Other cast members include Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges, the lovely Katy Jurado and Harry Morgan. You can also see Lee Van Cleef in his dialogue free big screen debut.