What is it about the old films which retain their attractiveness? Certainly, Hitchcock made optimal use of the genre — of shadows and dark corners; of shades and gray areas, contrasting good and evil. And things didn’t stand out as much. It reflected a time of greater modesty where individuals didn’t stand out — for, everyone and everything being grey and indistinguishable from one another, it rejected the colorful phenomena of individualism.
“High Noon” reflected that sense of modesty; for, while the star and main character prevailed in the end, Gary Cooper was an unassuming individual without great physical presence nor any outward characteristics which manifested anything extraordinary; however, his inner character is what was in full display. As a film in Black & White, only the character within began to reveal itself as the film progressed — of stubborn integrity; of a sense of duty; of an obligation both to himself and to a greater sense of justice.
By contrast, if a remake of the film were ever to be attempted, this would be included in “High Noon — the Remake”: A muscular main character, with ripped shirt displaying cuts and abrasions; a couple (at least) of “bed scenes”; probably a look back at the main character’s childhood to provide some psychological trauma to engender sympathy; and in the end, the rationale for staying was because the town was willing to pay him a cash bonus — not because of any sense of duty or obligation.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who suffer from a medical condition and need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under the FERS retirement system, “High Noon” is the metaphor for the state that you currently find yourself in: Of having to face down your agency; of holding your Agency off until you have had the chance to prepare, formulate and file for your Federal Disability Retirement benefits.
And it would indeed be nice if it were still a film in Black & White, where no one notices that you can’t do all of the essential elements of your job, anymore, because you remain indistinguishable from everyone else. But, alas we are now in the world of color, and because of that, you may want to contact a Federal Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law, where the Black & White Film is no longer available except in those special editions of the Criterion Collection.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.