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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)