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Film

The deliberate use of black and white automatically gave the film a sense of realism and drama as contrasted against spectacle and fantasy. The introduction of CinemaScope also introduced the use of framing and camera angle, techniques that were used in High Noon to emphasize the growing nervousness and uncertainty in Marshall Kane as well as the passage of time (a clock is featured in nearly every scene). This ticking clock plays a central role in the plot as the hands move slowly but inexorably toward the high spot and the gun fight between Kane and Miller.
The strong female character is somewhat surprising in this early film. According to Jackie Stacey (1994), women had already become recognized as the consumers of the household by the 1950s, a fact that gave them a new power outside of the home. Women were beginning to redefine their passive role in society and being “addressed as individuals and encouraged to reproduce their ‘individuality’ through the consumption of clothes, make-up and household goods” (Stacey, 1994: 186). High Noon is exceptional in that it provides women with two opposing yet equally strong female role models, the angel Amy and the vamp Helen. Helen is understood to have had several lovers, including bad guy Frank Miller, good guy Will Kane and ex-deputy Harvey Pell. She owns several businesses – she is seen selling her store (in which she has been a silent partner) and it is her name on the saloon. She is fiercely independent, having no qualms about kicking Harvey out when he displeases her, and wise about the people around her. Amy is similarly strong although this is not immediately apparent during the wedding ceremony. However, it is because of her religious beliefs that the ceremony takes place at the justice of the peace rather than in the church and she remains strong in her refusal to condone ...Show more

Summary

Although color film was available and demonstrated state of the art technology for the time, High Noon was produced in black and white, highlighting the seriousness of the story and its relationship to the civic duty owed by all citizens to their community at large. According to…
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