High Noon: Desirable Destinies

                   In the 1952 movie, High Noon, directed by Fred Zinnemann, Gary Cooper plays Will Kane, an almost retired one word—lawman who desires to marry his fiancée and settle down, but an old jail bird, Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald) and his two buddies from the past comes out and seeks revenge on the old marshal.  So, at noon by the train, Will Kane will meet his fate of either death or the beginning of a new life with his wife, Amy, played by Grace Kelly.

                   What I find highly interesting about this movie more so than other westerns I have seen before is the concept of destiny.  Like in Star Wars, Darth Vader tells Luke time and time again, “It is your destiny.”  And like Luke, Will has to face his destiny, even though he did not choose it to be that and had other plans.

                    This theme of destiny is a very particular concept that Hollywood, with its scriptwriters and actors can much more satisfactorily portray than people in the real world can do because people depicting fiction can control the story line. The actors can visibly portray this concept with destiny on in the cinematic universe that usually is not a reality to the regular world, the realistic world. In the real world, usually the past could catch up with someone, but the way in which that person would deal with it might not be as satisfactory as Will Kane’s ending up with a beautiful wife, like Amy, or such persons deal with it, which is their choice that makes their destiny.  Frank Miller and his buddies met their own well-deserved destiny, which is satisfactory for Kane, his wife, the townspeople, and the viewers.

                    Maybe that is the reason why the cinema world is so magical to the viewer; it provides the hope that a desirable destiny will happen, like the one in High Noon. Even westerns like the film, Stagecoach, directed by John Ford have an unlikely, but satisfactory ending where John Wayne takes the “bad” girl and runs off into the sunset. In the end, it is best to let the director do his/her work and let the audience follow what the director desires to do. Maybe that is the director’s destiny, the greatest ending to the film that he or she has always dreamed of!

Sarah Hurley Austin

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