Quote from High Noon by Martin: “You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If you’re honest you’re poor your whole life and in the end you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star.”
There’s something to be said for a movie that has a fairly simple plot, developed characters, and sharp and to the point dialogue. High Noon offers this and more as it was made in response to the blacklisting of Hollywood professionals in regards to Communism. Many shut out of Hollywood were screenwriters and actors including Carl Foreman, who adapted High Noon from a magazine story titled “The Tin Star” by John W. Cunningham. The emotions in every scene are captured in the best way possible. The relationship between the two women of Will Kane, past lover and current lover, is not overly dramatized. The relationship between Kane and his protégé, Harvey Pell, is much like a dysfunctional father and son would have. The various relationships between the townspeople and Kane each have greater significance as the day progresses. The relationship between Kane and Miller, while not reaching the greatest heights of suspense, is enough to be satisfied by the end of the film. It garnered seven Academy Award nominations in 1953 and won four including Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Film Editing, Best Music (Original Song), and Best Music (Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture). High Noon continues to be a favorite among Western movie enthusiasts and movie buffs in general. It was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1989.
High Noon is written by Carl Foreman (screenplay) and John W. Cunningham (based on an article titled “The Tin Star.” It is directed by Fred Zinneman and produced by Carl Foreman and Stanley Kramer. The main cast includes Gary Cooper as Marshal Will Kane, Lloyd Bridges as Deputy Marshal Harvey Pell, Grace Kelly as Amy Fowler Kane, Katy Jurado as Helen Ramírez, Otto Kruger as Judge Percy Mettrick, Thomas Mitchell as Mayor Jonas Henderson, Lon Chaney Jr. as Martin Howe, and Ian MacDonald as Frank Miller. The MPAA rating is PG for some western violence and smoking. It is one hour and 25 minutes long. It is produced by Stanley Kramer Productions and distributed by United Artists. High Noon is a movie about standing alone in your convictions though the many voices around you state otherwise.
High Noon starts with a wedding ceremony between Marshal Will Kane and Amy Fowler in the town of Hadleyville. He is turning in his badge to start a new life in another town. The only problem is someone he put away in the past named Frank Miller wants revenge. He dismisses this and leaves town to begin his new life, but is pulled back when realizing running away was never an option for him. This doesn’t sit well with Amy. She makes him choose between her and his pride. His decision to stay and face Miller and his gang only upsets her further. She waits for the noon train, which will take her away from Hadleyville. Kane has to let her go. His focus is on persuading the townspeople to fight for him. It doesn’t go as planned and finds a few who are eager to fight by his side. As the movie ends, Kane’s willingness to not back down is tested. The showdown begins. Bullets fly. Some connect. Some miss. The intent was clear on both sides. You have to fight your own battles.
There’s something I like about Westerns. It might be the grit and dirt of the West. It could be the simple stories they usually have. Bad guys fighting the good guys or bad girls fighting the good girls or a combination. The opening of the three bad guys riding horseback set the tone. There was a clear leader of the pack and that was Frank Miller even though he was not even present. Everything they did was predicated on his command. The same goes for Will Kane where he was the leader of the town, and because of this the power remained with him until he passed it to the next person. The supporting cast of Katy Jurado and Grace Kelly portrayed quite different women, but their relationship proved to be each other’s ticket to freedom. The underlying affection for his boss is evident in a later scene between Pell and Kane. I think this is one of the best scenes in the movie. Kane’s interactions with the various townspeople is what made this movie also great. The ending is not your typical one in regards to what some thought back in the 1950s. Yet, by today’s standards it would be seen as proper and necessary. Some movies should stay in black and white, and this is definitely one of them. You can’t go wrong with the music score and song either.
I would hand downs recommend this movie. If you don’t care for Western movies, I’d say this is a good place to start as it doesn’t have the usual shoot ’em and ask no questions later in every other scene. High Noon is more about the relationships between and among people. While there are guns and fights, it played out as a response to being slapped in the face one too many times. Sometimes planning and plotting is the best course of action taken, which is what Kane ultimately did. It is a slower paced movie so young kids probably won’t have the attention span to sit through it, but most adults should. Anything resembling a suggestion would be to prolong the ending by a few minutes, but this is nitpicking. I watched this movie for the historical aspects first and entertainment a close second. Great from start to finish.
I give High Noon Four Fingers and One Thumb at 98%.
Writer’s Note: I started writing this last year. Yes, last year in 2017. I finally decided to go back and finish it. I thought about the polar opposites when writing this and how relationships work and don’t work. It was supposed to be a much longer short story, but these are more writing exercises than anything. Okay, onto my other short story so I can then get back to my rewriting and then writing my longer stories.
I bent over and looked at my flat tire. I was officially stranded. I wasn’t about to admit, not yet, I was lost. What I wouldn’t have given for anyone to hear me. Not even the animals showed their concern, but what can a few squirrels do. They didn’t have any special powers, but neither did I. This was just my luck to be in stuck in a state I wouldn’t be caught living in.
I sat down on a log, thinking what I could do, but more hoping the ants wouldn’t come close to me. I hated ants back then. I hate them now. This was the time before cellphones were glued to everyone’s palms. I wasn’t into watches back then and was too angry to check the stereo clock.
I had no idea how much time had passed when a truck came into view. It was one of those trucks with larger than life wheels. You know the one with the stereotype of the driver who wears a cap with a phrase like ‘I’m a redneck and proud of it.’ I imagined the truck had a Confederate flag somewhere, but when it was close enough it was just as bad. It was a decal of a woman holding onto a wrench with one hand with her body positioned in a suggestive pose.
The truck slowed down as it approached. When it stopped, a man about six-foot three got out. His boots kicked up dust with each step. He crossed the road to get to me. It appeared he had a tiny belly, almost not worth mentioning because it might have had to do with the angle of his shirt. His trimmed mustache wasn’t the best option for his face although his large hands complimented his long fingers. Either way, I wasn’t impressed and didn’t like that he had stopped.
He couldn’t have been older than twenty-three when I got a good look of his face. His skin was youthful, but there was a scar on his cheek. His black and blue cap with white stitching hugged tightly on his head. Surprisingly there was no catchphrase on it, but he was getting much too close to me.
“Looks like you’re having trouble,” he said.
His finger ran over the deflated rubber that used to be a functioning tire. I stood up, brushing away the remnants of dead wood from my pants.
“Have a spare in your car?” he asked.
“No,” I said.
“You should always carry a spare. You never know when you might need one.”
“I already used it when my tire went flat a few weeks ago.”
“This’s some bad luck you’re having then.”
“That’s why I don’t gamble.”
“Except with tires.”
“Have any ideas on how to get my car up and running?” I asked with an edge to my voice. He probably didn’t mean anything by his last comment, but still. I wanted to ask who the hell was he to criticize me. He might as well have let the air out from my other tires too at the rate he was going.
“If you drove a truck, there’d be no problem. I got a spare in the back,” he looked through my car’s windshield, “but since you seem to prefer convenience, I’ll have to go to my buddy’s shop. Don’t worry, it’s not too far away.” He pointed in the direction he came. “Just around the bend. You can join me, if you want.”
My father’s lecture of not getting into cars with strangers came flooding back, but I wasn’t in first grade anymore. Going with him would break up the boredom of waiting, but my life was more important. I didn’t want to die by the hands of a reincarnated Ted Bundy. His dress style wasn’t refined in any sense, but his face was attractive enough to get by with his looks alone. I could see how a gullible woman might hop into his passenger seat, thinking it was an adventure, but blind to becoming number 78 on some violence statistic list.
“I better stay here.”
“It’s your call. Don’t worry, I’ll get a cheap tire for ‘ya. Good enough to take ‘ya where ‘ya need to go, but you’ll probably want to replace it once you’re home.”
“I don’t have enough to pay you, but if you give me your address, I’ll send you the money once I’m back.”
“Consider it a gift. Besides, you look a little frazzled by the whole thing.”
“I want to get back on the road, and I will pay you. Cash is okay, I take it.”
“No need to pay me. Where you headed?”
“Visiting a friend.”
“I see, catching up.”
“She’s getting married.”
“Ah, the old ball and chain.” He must’ve expected me to laugh because when I didn’t he took a step back. “I’m only kidding.”
“I got that.”
“Listen, I think we got off on the wrong foot,” he said, stretching his arm out to shake my hand. When I didn’t reciprocate, he gave a slight nod. “My apologies.”
Halfway back to his truck, I heard him shout, “Last chance. You comin’ or stayin’?”
My answer should’ve been obvious. I should’ve stayed put and waited for the tire. The only thing nagging at me was what if he didn’t come back. I might not get another chance to get my car working again. I certainly didn’t want to spend another minute longer in this place.
I followed him, my pace quickening and thinking of all the ways the ride could go wrong. His door could be rigged where once it closes, it never opens again unless he wanted it open. The inside smelled somewhat fresh, but not as if he had cleaned all the evidence of his last victim away. I searched for a warning inside, one that told me this was a dangerous man with dangerous intentions, but there was none. His truck looked about as normal as could be, but everything looks normal from a certain angle.
“Don’t be shy. She doesn’t bite,” he said.
A man who refers to his car as a she doesn’t make him a serial killer but it doesn’t reassure me, I thought, as I got into his truck. I prayed that in my moment of weakness I didn’t just give him the easiest path to his next victim.
“I hate to sound like a father, but buckle up.”
“Oh, right. Sorry.”
“No need to be sorry, just safe.”
I wasn’t sure why I said that because I wasn’t sorry. I purposely left the seatbelt off in case I needed to make a quick getaway. I didn’t want to jump out of a moving truck, but if it meant not dying, then I would do it. I strapped in, and kept my finger on the release button. He glanced at me more than once during the ride, probably wondering why I wasn’t looking around.
When the truck slowed, I looked up and saw a plain-looking building. It was in the shape of a rectangular box. The sign on the post wasn’t hard to miss. It read Timothy’s Tires in red and white, and below it Expect the Best in blue and white. It reminded me of the American flag.
This time he turned off the engine and got out. I watched him circle in front of the truck and open my door. He put his hand out. I thought he had gotten the hint I didn’t want to touch his hand or any part of him. I said as politely as I could muster. “Thanks anyway.”
“Just trying to be the gentleman.”
“Again, thanks, but no thanks.”
He backed up. “Want me to get you anything to drink before we get to business?”
“I doubt your friend will have what want,” I said as I got out of the truck.
“Ever heard of Voss?”
“Sparkling or plain.”
“I don’t joke about water. Not when it’s this hot.”
“Coming right up unless you want to look at magazines.”
“I’ll stay here.”
He nodded and disappeared into the tire shop. I tried to see what was happening through the window, but there was too much glare.
He came out with my water, with his friend trailing behind him. Timothy was shorter, but not by much, maybe a few inches. He was a bit heavier, and had tattoo sleeves on both arms.
“Here’s your water.”
I took it without touching him and took a long sip.
“Yes, the sign.”
“Heard you’re tryin’ to get somewhere in a hurry,” Tim said.
“Just trying to get to my friend’s place before nightfall.”
“Can’t fault a woman for that.” Tim winked at his friend. “Once Jer pays me, I’ll give him the tire, and you’ll be all set.”
“You know I’ll pay you later.”
“That’s what you said the last time.”
“Quit holding us up. Get the tire.”
“Hold your damn horses.” He took a swig from his Coke and looked at me. “I didn’t catch your name?”
“Katy,” I said, reluctantly.
“That’s my sister’s name. You spell it K-a-t-i-e?”
“How’d you spell it?”
“With a y.”
“Well, I better go get that tire for ‘ya.”
After Tim left, there was awkward silence between us. I expected him to say something, but he never did.
“Your name is Jer?”
“Great-great granddad. Not the best name, I know.”
“I’ve heard worse.”
“Try Katherine Alexandra.”
“Well, Katherine Alexandra, it seems you got a yourself a tire.”
I looked up and saw Tim carrying a tire. I felt a twinge of guilt for thinking less of these people. This is all they would know in their lives: tires and tattoos. I took another sip of water, wondering if I should say something in the form of an apology. Instead, I watched Tim and Jer say their brotherly goodbyes.
Jer pulled up close to my car, removed a jack from the back, and traded my flat tire for the new one. The whole process from start to finish was quick. I thought how foolish I had been to think he was out to hurt me. He gave me his address, but I didn’t look at it until I got home from the wedding. This is when I noticed he had written his phone number beneath it. I never called him although I did send him cash the following week without a return address. I’m not sure he ever got it. I hope he did, but if not he must’ve realized by now some things are meant to go only so far.
I invited you more than once.
It wasn’t right of me to do.
Taking your power away.
Bleeding your veins until they were dry.
You resented me. I know.
It didn’t matter. I didn’t care. I still don’t.
You knew this.
Still, you kept at me, wanting me to answer.
So foolish. So stupid. So numb.
I wanted you to grow up. Be a man.
Be someone like me, but you failed me, every time.
I did you a favor. The one you never thanked me for.
You wouldn’t have been happy alive.
I knew this as your head detached from your neck.
Your hands seeking admiration as you took your last breath.
Seeking your meaning in the wrong places.
I closed your eyes and buried your head.
You can hate me. I accept this.
It really doesn’t matter. It never did.
You are gone. I am still here.
You are bloodless. I still bleed.
I find the brain very interesting. Without it, you’re dead. With it, you can also feel at a loss or put another way depressed. I haven’t read or studied anything psychological for quite some time. At one point, I wanted to be a psychologist. Another time I wanted to be a social worker. A far-reaching dream of mine was being a FBI agent. While I never went to school for any of these career paths, I’ve never stopped having high standards for myself. You could say I’ve always battled this within me: the line between spinning my mental wheels over and over again (the end result being tired) and going full force into the cave or storm.
I realize I’m very good at making lists in terms of my personal goals, but lately I’m having a hard time following through with them. I’m concentrating on things that don’t need attention. I’m ignoring and procrastinating on things I want the most and have the ability to give me the greatest personal reward. There isn’t very much pizzazz in writing because you are alone much of the time. Being alone has never been an issue for me, but consistency has been. I’m not the only one. I know we all struggle. Jeez, I’m really struggling now. There have been times I lay in bed, thinking of a short story I could write, and then start writing it in my head.
There’s a saying of there’s always time, but is there really always time? You say that too much, and there isn’t too much time left when all is said and done when the year ends. I know what my end goal is or in my case the many end goals. The good thing is I’m finally feeling ready to get back into my rewrite and then start writing my next novel idea. One novel at a time like you put on pants one leg at a time. Time to put on my big girl pants and keep them on.
If you’re wondering if I’m musically talented, I’m going to disappoint you. I am SO NOT. The only key I know on the piano is Middle C. I used to be able to play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on the guitar. I can’t carry a tune to save my life. That is the extent of my musicality. Good thing I have imagination and creativity and like to write (yeah, that’s it). Look for more short stories coming soon.
Forgive me as it will take a while for these to load, but I wanted to put them in a blog instead of getting rid of them completely. I’ve decided to change my blog once again and stick to the topics I have the most interest in like movies, television, books, and coloring to hopefully include more writing. My life is always about adding, subtracting, and realizing division needs to happen again. I’m cautiously trying to get back in gear with my social media life.
Quote from Castle Rock by Ruth Deaver: “Life used to go in one direction, forward, like one of those people-movers at the airport. But somehow I got off it.”
I was looking forward to this show coming out on Hulu during the summer. I didn’t get around to it until August, then took me even more time to get back to it in September, and finally finished the last episode not too long ago in October. For Stephen King fans who can forgive his wordiness and copious description in his books, this will be the show for you because he can do no wrong. Now for those who have never read a book of his or cared for his movie adaptations that are centered around evil and good, life and death, sane and insane, have and have nots, well this probably won’t be the show for you. In other words, this isn’t the best adaptation of King that had been made.
The issue is not that it isn’t compelling because it grabs your attention. The issue is there are so many parts to it that you can’t keep left from right, up from down, and front from back. It’s a show where everything including the kitchen sink is found, and because of it, it’s highly confusing for someone who hasn’t and some that have read his books. Not saying you have to explain everything that every character does, but without adequate explanation you are left with too many unanswered questions. It needed a little more purpose for the back and forth between the past and present. The randomness of minor and major characters was okay, but the transitioning caused unnecessary confusion. There were times I was thinking so X happened, then why did Z happen?
The universal themes of the show such as future uncertainty, past influences, past mistakes, drug addiction, allure to darkness, different personas, effects of prison, and fear of the unknown are not what you have to grapple when the show ends. It’s the significance and meaning of the character played by Bill Skarsgård. I won’t go into detail of his character, but it begs a lot of questions: those with deeper meaning or possible multiple meanings. There’s basically spooky stuff going on throughout the show. It took me a while to be invested.
The actors who shined the most were André Holland as Henry Deaver, Bill Skarsgård as The Kid, and Adam Rothenberg as Reverend Matthew Deaver. Sissy Spacek as Ruth Deaver, Melanie Lynskey as Molly Strand, and Scott Glenn as Alan Pangborn deserve applause too. There were many additional cast members such as Francis Conroy, Rory Culkin, Aaron Staton, Terry O’Quinn, Ann Cusack, and Charlie Tahan. With this in mind, there are 10 episodes with a length of 60 minutes to see these characters interact together. It has a TV rating of MA (Mature Audience). I’m curious what Season 2 will bring. It has been renewed, but no release date yet. I would like to see fewer ideas jam packed into the next season or at least, have more of a direction of the different plots, and if they do intersect, see more definitive answer(s). I feel a little guilty about my rating because King is a master storyteller with great understanding of human interaction and problems. I’m glad I stuck with it to the end, but this is a watch one time only show for me.
Castle Rock gets Three Fingers with 75%.
My day off project that resulted in compiling various designs and coloring these two.
Quote from Hush by Man : “I can come in anytime I want. And I can get you, anytime I want. But I’m not going to. Not until it’s time. When you wish you’re dead… that’s when I’ll come inside.”
Producers: Jason Blum, Philip Dawe, Michael J Fourtiq Sr. Kate Lumpkin, Trevor Macy, Melinda Nishioka, Couper Samuelson, and Jeannette Volturno
Director: Mike Flanagan
Writers: Mike Flanagan and Kate Siegel
Major Cast: John Gallagher Jr, Kate Siegel, Michael Trucco, Samantha Sloyan, and Emma Graves
Rating: R for strong violence, terror, and some language
Running Time: 1 hour and 21 minutes
Hush is a horror/thriller about a deaf writer who lives in the woods to find solitude and a place to write away from her family and friends. This is a low budget horror film, but done well enough. There isn’t too much to dissect as it’s a story about trying to survive when someone is crazily trying to kill you. The difference for Maddie, played by Kate Siegel, is she’s missing one of her senses, her hearing, but for the most part she adapts well without it. You are with her all the way as she fights to live. There is nothing redeeming about the mysterious man, played by John Gallagher Jr, and he’s creepily good. The ultimate reason for watching this is to find out whether Maddie will survive through it all and how bad of an ending it might be for the Man.