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Remind Me

HIGH NOON (1952)

Pop Culture 101 - HIGH NOON

In 1980, Lee Majors reprised the Will Kane role for a made-for-TV sequel called High Noon, Part II: The Return of Will Kane. The sequel picks up where the original left off, with Kane having to strap on his guns again to face down the bounty-hunting marshal who replaced him. And in 2000, the TBS Superstation aired a remake of High Noon, starring Tom Skerritt as Will Kane.

Actor Lee Van Cleef plays Jack Colby, one of Frank Miller's villainous thugs in the original High Noon. Van Cleef played similar parts in a number of Westerns, including The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) before becoming a popular anti-hero in Spaghetti Westerns of the sixties. Some of his best films in that genre include For a Few Dollars More (1965), Death Rides a Horse (1968), and Sabata (1970). Van Cleef was also memorable in director John Carpenter's Escape From New York (1981).

Will Kane's final act of throwing away his marshal's badge is referenced in director Don Siegel's 1971 box office smash, Dirty Harry (1971). But instead of a middle-aged cop trying to enlist help from a cowardly township, Clint Eastwood plays a maverick San Francisco cop - "Dirty Harry" Callahan - who is thwarted at every turn by lawyers, politicians and departmental bureaucracy in his pursuit of a despicable serial killer. It is at the end that Callahan throws away his badge in disgust.

The pivotal church scene where Will Kane tries to enlist the help of the congregation was spoofed in director Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles (1974).

By Scott McGee

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