How well do you remember the movie High Noon?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

No other Western film is loaded with the credentials of "High Noon." This movie has it all -- big stars, a unique visual style and a story all its own. How much do you know about "High Noon"?

"High Noon" is a classic Western film from 1952. Who's the star of this movie?

Gary Cooper plays the part of lawman Will Kane. He keeps the peace in a tiny town in the New Mexico Territory.


As the movie opens, what is happening in Will Kane's life?

Kane has served diligently as an Old West sheriff, and he's almost ready to be done with his career. He's about to retire from law enforcement.


Who plays the part of Will's wife, Amy Kane?

Grace Kelly plays the part of Amy Kane. A few years after this film, Kelly became a real-life princess when she married Prince Rainier III from Monaco.


What was the status of Gary Cooper's career when he made "High Noon"?

At age 51, and with a string of so-so productions, Cooper's star was fading. He needed "High Noon" to become a hit so that he could maintain his A-list status.


Will and Amy Kane are newly married, and Will is about to retire. What are they planning to do with their lives?

Will and Amy are done with life in the remote town. The happy newlyweds plan to leave and start new lives elsewhere … but there's trouble brewing.


A man named Jack Colby plays a consequential role in the story. Who is he?

Jack is an outlaw heading for Hadleyville. He's played by Lee Van Cleef, who had roles in movies like "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" and "For a Few Dollars More."


As in all Westerns, local politicians come into play. Who takes up the part of the town mayor?

The town mayor is played by Thomas Mitchell. He was a star in other productions, too, such as "Stagecoach" and "Gone With the Wind."


The outlaw named Jack, along with his cohorts Ben and Jim, are waiting for a man named Frank Miller. What's Frank up to?

Frank and his gang are traveling to Hadleyville to serve up revenge on the lawman who put Frank in jail. That lawman happens to be Will Kane.


Why is Will Kane retiring from his career as the marshal?

Kane is by no means washed up, but he is newly married. And his wife wants him to take up work that doesn't involve bullets and bad guys. You can probably see where this is going.


During filming, what was the relationship between Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly like?

Cooper and Kelly were hot and heavy during filming. The relationship did not last much longer than it took to wrap up shooting, though.


"High Noon" is an exceptionally famous film. Who directed this movie?

Fred Zinnemann was the captain of this ship. He was a startlingly successful director who won four Oscars thanks to films like "The Men" and "Julia."


Will and Amy get married and immediately receive what news?

The couple has just tied the knot when they hear the bad news. Frank Miller and his bad men are coming to town on the train. They'll arrive at noon. High noon.


What do Amy and Will decide to do when they realize Frank wants revenge on Will?

Murderous outlaw en route to town? Check. He has three henchmen? Check. Let's get the heck out of here! Amy and Will make a break for it.


The movie was released in 1952. How much did United Artists spend to create the film?

"High Noon" required a substantial investment by the studio. In 1952, $700,000 was a lot of money. Fortunately for United Artists, it was a profitable film.


How much did "High Noon" gross at the box office?

United Artists made a killing on "High Noon," which grossed about $12 million. That figure was enough to make it one of the most profitable movies of the year.


Will and Amy escape town before Frank arrives. Why does Will go back?

Will realizes that running won't do any good and that Frank will catch up to him in one way or another. He turns back to face his nemesis.


What adjective could be used to describe the style of "High Noon"?

"High Noon" is a love affair with minimalism. It relies on taut pacing, superior acting and suspense for its success. Some of the scenes are shot in agonizingly slow real time.


"High Noon" made waves in Hollywood. It was nominated for two Academy Awards.

Think bigger. The movie was a terrific success, garnering seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor and Best Director.


After snagging seven Oscar nominations, how many categories did "High Noon" win?

It won four of its seven nominations. Cooper got the nod for Best Actor, but Best Picture and Best Director went to other productions.


The movie isn't just a Western. It's a 50s statement on which issue?

In the 50s many studios participated in the blacklisting of people who were Communists (or suspected of being Communists). The writer, Carl Foreman, had once been a Communist and was facing exile from an industry that he loved. This was one way he could stare down his real enemies.


Will arrives in town before Frank's train pulls in. What does Will do in the meantime?

Will gets back to town and does his best to assemble a posse to face Frank and his men. But the townspeople have a policy against this kind of violent confrontation. Will is on his own.


How is "High Noon" regarded by critics?

Critics fell all over themselves trying to express how highly they thought of the film. It's still considered one of the best Westerns ever made in Hollywood.


"High Noon" was nearly a color film.

Zinnemann actually shot several scenes in color. But he just didn't like the story in color, so he reverted to black and white film.


Many people flee town in the expectation of a violent showdown. Who is Helen and why is she leaving?

Helen is a local woman who had relationships with both of the men who are about to try to kill each other. She wants nothing to do with their confrontation.


What does Amy do when her new husband rides back to town to face a violent criminal?

Amy gives Will what amounts to an ultimatum. They can leave together, or she'll buy a ticket out of town and leave alone. She buys the ticket.


Kelly had an affair with Cooper during filming. She also carried on with which person?

Kelly was never known for her virginal behavior. During filming, she got with Cooper and also with director Zinnemann. It was a strange four weeks.


Before the outlaws arrive, Will gets into a serious fistfight with which person?

Will's former deputy tries to stop him from facing the outlaws but their argument becomes physical. Will finally knocks the man unconscious just before the clock strikes noon.


As Will prepares to face the outlaws, we are presented with one of the most famous scenes in Hollywood history. What is that scene?

As the train pulls into town, Will steps into the street, completely alone. It's easily one of the most iconic shots in film history.


Will finally manages to defeat Frank at the end of the gunfight. How?

Amy jumps from the departing train and runs into the middle of the gunfight. In a moment of distraction, Will blasts Frank, killing him.


What do Will and Amy do at the end of the movie?

Will and Amy are disgusted at the lack of help from the locals in the face of evil -- yet another social commentary on Hollywood's blacklisting policies. They leave town for good, setting off for new lands.


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