High Noon

High Noon. Great movie. Here are some very good reasons to watch it: 1. It takes place in real time – 85 lean, tense minutes. The deadline is firm. No dilly-dallying. 2. There’s plenty left unsaid/implied. I love when the backstory and mechanics aren’t fully clear and you end up guessing (often along with the characters themselves) and interpreting relationships based on a few clues here and there – a gesture, a look, a rhythm of conversation that suggests years. (And in this movie, given that the plot hinges on an event approaching at noon, there’s not much time for backstory, either.) 3. Gary Cooper is really good. I need to see more with him. 4. Grace Kelly. 5. It’s the first film appearance of Lee Van Cleef.

For a Few Dollars More

For a Few Dollars More. I’ve finally finished the Dollars Trilogy. This one is great. I found it much better than A Fistful of Dollars and almost up there with The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. The first duel in this movie is either the first or second best in the whole trilogy. I love the way Leone builds from silence to melodramatic swells of music and back to silence and only then gives you resolution. And nice little details like in the delightful hat duel where every time Eastwood shoots the hat it lands in a pool of light. And the repeated appearance of the safe during the bank robbery scene. You know something is going to happen with/to/near/around it, but you gotta wait for the moment. Sweet, sweet suspense.