Day 265 & Day 266 – High Noon & The Lion King

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Movie Title: High Noon

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 25 min.

Rated: PG

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

High Noon is an all-time classic western that evolved into an allegory for the McCarthyism plaguing Hollywood during the 1950s. The story is simple and quickly paced. Marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) is just married and is about to head out of town. Right after the wedding service he is informed that Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald) is on the noon train heading into town. Frank Miller is a ruthless killer that Kane put away years ago. He is escaped or otherwise released from prison and he is coming for revenge. His gang of thieves is waiting for him at the train depot included among them a very young Lee Van Cleef.

Kane tells his wife, a then unknown Grace Kelly, that he is going to face down the men and defend the town. She abandons him and tells him she will be on the train out of town at noon. No one else, including his oldest friends, will not help him. Kane cleaned up the town and made it a model place to live, but no one will help him. As Kane travels around town he finds out what people really think of him and it breaks his heart after all he has done for them. Kane sticks to his ideals and believes that he must face down Miller.

During the production of High Noon the screenwriter was brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee and was effectively blacklisted from Hollywood. He had been nominated for Oscars and showed genuine promise. He was ignored and mistreated by everyone he knew in Hollywood as they allowed it to happen including many huge names in Hollywood.

Verdict:

The movie and its backstory became intertwined to make a truly excellent piece of American film. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: The Lion King (1994)

 

Movie Title: The Lion King

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 28 min.

Rated: G

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

The Lion King is the jewel in the Disney animation crown and probably doesn’t need much in the way of elaboration. Simba (Matthew Broderick) is the young son of Mufasa (James Earl Jones) but he is a little too gullible and trustworthy. This is especially true when it comes to his Uncle Scar. Scar (Jeremy Irons) hatches a plot to overthrow Mufasa and sees to it that it goes as planned. Mufasa is killed, but Simba gets away. Simba lives in exile with Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella) until he ultimately returns to reclaim his throne.

The voice work is great and has range. Irons is fantastic as Scar, but Rowan Atkinson as Zazu should not be forgotten. The animation style is great and the songs are catchy. It feels like everyone knows them and they have made their way into popular culture.

Verdict:

The Lion King is a great story that is great for all ages. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: The Predator (2018)

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