The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Cowardice II

No. 2,567
Supporse SNl
opened with a parody of “Friends,”
mocking NYC’S current unfriendliness and dearth pf social freedom.  The spoof might garner a few laughs and hearty
applause from the audience, but  elicit few
 chuckles from Bill de Blasio.

Now suppose we examine “High Noon” with the goal of imagining how it
could have been shot produced and released. This column has been inspired by a
comment by a  reader about
Cowardice à la carte:
 :
I never did understand why those townspeople did not just
tell the Kane’s to take off on their honeymoon with the gratitude and
well-wishes of all and not to worry about Frank Miller and his thugs because
when they swaggered into town they would be unaware of the armed citizen hiding
on every roof, behind every large tree, and keeping the horses company in the
stable. The resulting fight shouldn’t top 30 seconds.

But then there would have been no point to the
movie.”



I whole- heartedly agree
with that appraisal.


Except when Kane explains
to his bride, Amy, why it was necessary for him to return to the town, there is
no explanation by him for the action, but to say that he had  to stay. He had arrested and sent to a territorial
prison and death penalty up north and that Miller had sworn to kill Kane.
The mayor of Hadleyville
had assured Kane that he and the town council would take care of the town being
civil and safe. It would have been more logical for them to prepare a special
reception for Miller and his gang of thugs, one that resulted in their
collective demise.

The explanation lacks
credibility, unless it was said from a sense of duty, a patellar reflex
 or
a knee-jerk and also from a sense of
practicality. He explains  to Amy, that
running from the gang, which would have hunted him down, would  have left him and Amy alone on the prairie.

I think there was a
political reason or explanation behindr each example of cowardice in the film,
from Herb’s quitting and turning in his badge o the mayor’s backstabbing of
Kane in the church. I’m not knowledgeable enough of the
Red Scare period in the 1950s to write with cognizance about
it here, except it is known as the
McCarthy
period..
.

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4 Comments

  1. Tom

    Before he returned to Hadleyville with his new bride, Kane explained that if he did not confront Ben Miller then and there, then Miller would eventually track him down, and Kane did not want to spend the rest of his life looking over his shoulder for Miller. This has always seemed credible to me. The cowardice of the townspeople, on the other hand, has always struck me as uncharacteristic of Americans.

  2. Edward Cline

    High Noon and many other films of the period were influenced by the anti-American Communists. See Rand's HUAC testimony, she mentions many of them.

  3. revereridesagain

    It's a good point. My theory only works if the townspeople had the common sense and fortitude to hide on roofs and behind trees and blow these thugs away. If they'd all hidden in their basements, then yes the Miller gang would be hot on the trail of the Kanes. That rather seems more symbolic of today's "cancel culture" and the cowed response it tends to produce. Mrs. Kane, on the other hand, represents the pacifist stance that violence solves nothing — except when it does because there is no other action that will prevent the murder of the one whom you most value.

  4. Edward Cline

    I like this comment, because it mentions the pacifist who decided that "violence" — which she abhors — was the only way to protect her value, Will Kane. She shoots the one thug in the back. And then scratches Frank Miller's face to escape his clutches. Allowing Kane a clear shot at Miller.

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