The story unfolds in something close to real time. Gary Cooper is on the point of retiring asMarshal of a small town. He is also about to leave, accompanied by new wife (and pacifist)Grace Kelly. But then a villain from his past returns with vengeance in mind. Cooper turns to thetownspeople for help, but nobody wants to know. Released during the McCarthy witch hunts, thefilm invites (and rewards) political analysis. But it is also a damn fine suspense film.
You have a choice between two kinds of mono: the original soundtrack, and somethingcalled “enhanced.” The latter is mono with a deeper, richer, more powerful sound. In either case,there is some hiss on the soundtrack.
The picture is very sharp, but there are a few problems too. There is some print damage andsome very minor grain. The edge enhancement, however, is quite noticeable at times.
This disc appears to have been a labour of love, at least as far as the children of the cast andcrew are concerned. Maria (daughter of Gary) Cooper-Janis hosts a commentary track with Tim(son of director Fred) Zinnemann, Jonathan (son of writer Carl) Foreman and John (son of singerTex) Ritter. There are a lot of memories as well as facts to be had on this track. Some of thatinformation is gone over again in “Behind High Noon” — a short featurette which adds to theoffspring interviews with Prince Albert of Monaco (son of Grace Kelly). Better is “The Makingof High Noon,” a twenty-minute documentary narrated by Leonard Maltin that originally appeardon the VHS edition. Old-time cowboy star Tex Ritter is interviewed in a vintage radio broadcast.Finally, there are trailers for the special editions of High Noon, Rio Grande, and The Quiet Man.The menu is fully scored and animated.
While the picture isn’t quite as perfect as one could hope, the combination of top-flightclassic western and interesting extras makes this DVD well worth picking up.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- “Behind High Noon” Featurette
- “The Making of High Noon” Featurette
- Radio Broadcast with Tex Ritter
- Theatrical Trailer