Human being is a social animal and prefers to spend his/her life in the company of other people. Humans all over the world live in societies and depend on each other for the fulfillment of their various needs. In the face of crisis or problems, humans seek aid and moral support of the people surrounding them. It is the same human nature that compels Marshal Will Kane, the hero in the movie “High Noon” to expect help and assistance from the people of his town. One of the criminals, whom Kane had brought to justice, was arriving in the town to avenge Kane.
Kane appeals to his people to assist him but they refuse to help him, as they are concerned about saving their own lives. The refusal of the people of the town to aid him in facing his enemies leads to the isolation of Kane, as he finds himself alone in the face of the danger. The sequence of his requests for help depict the sense of betrayal felt by Kane towards the citizens of the town. Isolation Kane was about to give up his position as the Marshall of his town and lead a happy married life with Amy but fate had decided something else for him.
When he had decided to lead a peaceful life, he receives news about the arrival of Frank Miller by the noon train. Frank Miller was sentenced to death penalty because of Kane. But he was pardoned and released for unknown reasons. And now when he is free, he wants to avenge Kane. All the people in the town and his wife, Amy suggest Kane to leave the town. Kane also agrees to the suggestion initially but later he changes his mind, as his conscience never allows him to run away from his duty of protecting the town. He retrieves his badge and decides to face Frank Miller and his men.
He seeks the help of the people of the town but no one is ready to aid him. Saving their lives is more important for the people than fighting beside the person who is risking his own life for protecting their lives. Upon the refusal of the people to aid him, Kane starts feeling that he is being isolated from the society, whose members he was trying to protect. The increasing isolation of Kane is emphasized in the movie in various ways. The plot of the movie is constructed in such a manner which highlights the isolation of Kane through his thoughts and actions.
The cinematography of the film also aids in depicting Kane’s isolation. Kane is featured against a back drop which stands in contrast to his dressing. For instance, he is shown in black dressing against a white backdrop. The shots also play an important part in the presenting isolated and lonely Kane. “A high angle shot as Kane enters and leaves the church meeting accentuates the timidity and Kane’s isolation. ” (Byman 282). The way the film is shot emphasizes the isolation of Kane from the people of the town. In the end also, the shot of Kane as the lone fighter facing Frank Miller and his men underlines his isolation.
Betrayal When the townspeople refuse to stand by Kane in his decision to face Frank Miller and his men, Kane feels betrayed by the same people whom he protected and cared for. As he keeps appealing for help from the townspeople, the sense of his betrayal by the townspeople is heightened in the movie. Kane is endangering his own life for protecting the lives of the townspeople from Frank Miller, and when he is seeking their help, these people are not supporting Kane in his fight against criminals like Frank Miller. Kane is loyal towards his duty of protecting the lives of townspeople.
Even though he was retired from the position of Marshall of the town, he takes upon the responsibility of saving his town from Frank Miller. His loyalty is in contrast to the attitude of the townspeople. The townspeople are betraying the same person whose loyalty has ensured that they are leading their lives in safety. The sequence of requests that Kane makes to the citizens of the town aids in depicting the betrayal of Kane, as it brings forth the self-centered attitude of the townspeople who turn down Kane’s request and try to save their own lives.
Instead of standing by Kane, the townspeople prefer to abandon him and distance themselves from the fight with Frank Miller. Conclusion The movie “High Noon” focuses on the isolation of the hero, Marshall Kane who fights a lone battle to save his town. Even though he is fighting with Frank Miller to protect the lives of the townspeople, the townspeople desert him and seek to save their lives. The isolation of Kane is highlighted in the movie through the plot, cinematography and the shots.
The sequence of requests made by Kane to the townspeople helps in building the sense of betrayal of Kane by the citizens of the town, as this portrays the caring attitude of Kane which is in contrast to the callous attitude of the townspeople. Kane was concerned about the townspeople so he decides to fight Frank Miller whereas the townspeople were worried about their own safety so they desert Kane and flee for saving their lives. Works Cited Byman, Jeremy. Showdown at high noon: witch-hunts, critics, and the end of the Western. Scarecrow Press. 2004.
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