Get to know D.C. with our daily newsletter
We dive deep on the day’s biggest story and share links to everything you need to know.
One of the first of the “New Westerns” made in the ’50s, Fred Zinneman’s High Noon is a 90-minute countdown to a confrontation between a just-retired sheriff (Gary Cooper) and a criminal gang. The lawman risks life with his brand-new bride (Grace Kelly) in order to protect citizens who, it turns out, are less than eager to stand with him. The script, by soon-to-be-blacklisted Carl Foreman, indicts McCarthy-era America for cowardice and conformity, but also makes a heavy-handed case for the necessity of violence. If the gestures are stagey and the diction stilted, the film’s ticking-clock narrative remains fresh (compare Nick of Time, a 1995 Johnny Depp vehicle), and some of the images have become iconic (recycled in Once Upon a Time in the West, for example). This new 35 mm print recaptures the luster of the cinematography by Floyd Crosby (David’s dad). The film screens at 6:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. (see Showtimes for other dates) at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8.50. (301) 495-6700. (Mark Jenkins)