Thursday, April 11, 2024

CIFF Presents “High Noon” (1952) for Student Classic Film Series – Mar. 24

March Marks Classic Westerns Month in the Series

The Coronado Island Film Festival presents High Noon as the second of two 2024 Student Classic Film Series “Westerns Month” Spotlight features on Sunday, March 24th, 2024. The event begins at 1 pm in the Coronado Library Winn Room (640 Orange Ave).

Although the event is free and open to the public, adults over 18 should be accompanied by a young person 18 years old or younger as this is the Student Classic Film Series.

High Noon begins just after 10 in the morning, in the dusty frontier town of Hadleyville. As Marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) marries a lovely young Quaker woman, Amy Fowler (played by 21-year-old newcomer Grace Kelly), three outlaws wait on the town’s railway platform for the arrival, at noon, of a vicious murderer, Frank Miller, just released from prison. The newlyweds plan to leave Hadleyville to start a family, with Will taking up a safer, quieter life as a storekeeper. Yet everyone in town knows Frank Miller has sworn revenge on Kane, the lawman who brought him to justice. One by one, Kane’s friends and neighbors, including the mayor, the local judge, and the former Marshal, refuse his pleas for help and urge him to leave town. But Marshal Kane’s sense of duty won’t allow him to flee. Despite the pleadings of his new wife, with no one willing to stand with him, Marshal Kane realizes he must face Miller and his outlaws alone.

Nominated for seven Academy Awards, High Noon is a must see for classic movie fans and every aspiring filmmaker. Its casting, script, and direction are exceptional. Director Fred Zinnemann tells Will Kane’s story in real time, with each minute on screen a minute in the story, as he blends each cinematic component masterfully. The camera sets a darkly tense mood. Dimitri Tiomkin’s score pounds relentlessly behind the film’s Oscar winning editing as Zinnemann builds audience anxiety toward the story’s climactic confrontation.

Westerns are one of a very few purely American art forms. Carl Forman’s revisionist screenplay departs from tried-and-true Western storylines, discarding one-dimensional characters to show the isolating impact of human duplicity and cowardice. Hollywood legend Gary Cooper appeared in over 100 motion pictures. Arguably, this Best Actor Oscar portrayal as Will Kane is his most acclaimed by critics and most enduring with audiences. Controversial when it premiered in 1952, High Noon was (and is) loved and hated, admired and despised by movie buffs, film makers, actors and, notably, a succession of American Presidents. Don’t miss this special screening of a legendary classic Western.


In its third season, the CIFF Student Classic Film Series is a cinematic cultural literacy program (how to watch, listen and understand films) introducing middle school and high school students to the cinematic art as it first developed and was practiced by masters of the craft during the Golden Age of Hollywood. While cinephiles may differ, the Golden Age is generally recognized as studio produced films made from the mid-1930s to the early-1960s. The era featured a unique mix of economic, cultural, and social conditions that perfectly aligned for producing great movies by the score.
The Student Classic Film Series exposes high school and middle school students and homeschoolers to the greatest motion pictures from The Golden Age of Hollywood. The Series offers a unique chance for young people to explore the history of the Hollywood Studio Era and the cultural legacy it bequeathed to audiences and aspiring filmmakers of today. All screenings are held in The Winn Room at the Coronado Public Library. All are free and open to the public. Adults over 18 must be accompanied by a young person 18 years or or younger. The program began in 2022 with seed-grant funding provided by the City of Coronado Community Grant.

Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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