High Noon

The 1952 movie starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly is a western classic.  Cooper plays a man "torn betwixt love and duty" - Love for his wife, a Quaker, and duty to the town he swore to protect.  It is not your typical western.  It's one of the rare films played in real time.  The whole story takes place in only 85 minutes as the clock ticks along toward the showdown at high noon.  The use of the song, Do not forsake me, Oh my darling, as a comment on the action was very unusual for the time.  The heartbeat quality of the song's bass accompaniment gave a haunting sense of urgency to the approaching confrontation.  The dynamic editing style and the serious adult subject matter made High Noon a completely different kind of western, considered by many to be the definitive western.  Even fifty years later, it is well worth seeing! High Noon
  • 1953 Academy Awards:
  • Best Actor (Cooper)
  • Best Editing
  • Best Music
  • Best Song
  • 1953 Golden Globe Awards:
  • Best Actor (Cooper)
  • Best Supporting Actress (Jurado)
  • Best Score
  • Best Cinematography
  • High Noon has been placed in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
  • Featured Actors: Gary Cooper, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado,
    and Grace Kelly.
  • Director:  Fred Zinneman.
  • Producer:  Stanly Kramer, 
  • Lyrics:  Ned Washington
  • Music:  Dmitri Tiomkin
  • Title song from the High Noon soundtrack sung by Tex Ritter -

 

SOUND TRACK LYRICS

 

DISTRIBUTED SONG LYRICS
Do not forsake me,
  Oh my darlin'
On this, our weddin' day.
Do not forsake me,
  Oh my darlin'
Wait,
Wait Along.

 

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The noon day train
  will bring Frank Miller.
If I'm a man
  I must be brave*
and I must face that
  deadly killer.
I do not know
  What fate awaits me
I only know
  I must be brave
And I must face a man
  Who hates me
Or lie a coward,
a craven coward
or lie a coward
  in my grave.

 

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Oh, to be torn
  betwixt love and duty.
Suposin' I lose
  my fair-haired beauty.
Look at that big hand move along
nearin' high noon.

He made a vow
  while in state prison.
Vowed it would be
  my life or his'n.
I'm not afraid of death but oh
what will I do
  if you leave me?

Do not forsake me,
  Oh my darlin'.

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You made that promise
  when we wed.
You made that promise
  As a bride
Do not forsake me,
  Oh my darlin'.
Although you're grieving,
>
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I can't be leavin',
until I shoot
  Frank Miller dead.

 

Don't think of leaving
Now that I need you
  By my side
Wait along , wait along v,
Wait along _, wait along ^,
>
>
Wait along, Wait along,
Wait along.
 

* In the verse, "If I'm a man I must be brave", Ritter slurs the last word.  Although some accounts claim the word is "there", it sounds more like "brave", as in the distribution song release.


page by Lynn Ashley

5 November 2001