Smell of Popcorn

film reviews & musings by Max Lalanne


The stark beauty of ‘High Noon,’ 1952, directed by Fred Zinneman and shot by Floyd Crosby.

Posted by Max Lalanne on July 25, 2012




“High Noon” largely eschewed the lush, pictorial style of many Westerns of its era and looked forward to the grittier realism of Sam Peckinpah, Robert Altman and Arthur Penn. It’s a technique that came naturally to [Fred] Zinnemann and cinematographer Floyd Crosby, ASC, who based their images on the Civil War photographs of Mathew Brady and aspired to a newsreel look. Crosby’s juxtapositions of a black-clad Gary Cooper against white backgrounds emphasize the character’s isolation and loneliness, and his avoidance of filters and soft focus reproduces what Zinnemann described in his autobiography as “the flat light, the grainy textures” of Brady’s work. (The American Society of Cinematographers)

July 30th will mark the 60th anniversary of “High Noon” – although it did have its US premiere on July 24th, 1962, in New York – which is certainly one of the greatest movies ever made. Both storywise and technically, everything about it is remarkable, revolutionary, even perfect. It’s a stunning work of art, and certainly beautiful to look at. Some people might not appreciate black-and-white images, but for those who do, Floyd Crosby‘s lensing is certainly some of the best to indulge in.

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