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Any Gary Cooper Fans?


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We've been having a discussion about High Noon in the Robert Ryan thread,

which probably should be continued here because it's quite interesting. I hope

the other Coops girls will join in. Here is my reply to FrankGrimes' latest

wrongheaded posts:

 

I differ with you and Jackie with all this. I believe Helen was interested in Will because

he was now the man in charge in Hadleyville. She went after him. Will, being

a single guy with no real cares for things like love, marriage, and family, welcomed

her advances.

 

I think it?s possible that was how it began, but she soon found herself in love.

 

I feel Helen goes after men for survival reasons, NOT love. I just cannot swallow this

entire, "poor, innocent Helen, she had to be a prostitute to eat" stuff. "She didn't

mean to use men, she just had to or she would die." That's really selling women

short. Helen is a user of men. That's her business. I'm not crying for the men, because

most of us guys like being used in the way Helen is using.

 

Ha! That was good?and funny. :P I don?t agree. When she leaves Hadleyville she?s only got half what her business is worth and we aren?t told if she has much more. She?s not as rich as you seem to think and nothing disappears faster than money. At her age she can?t turn over a new leaf unless it?s through marriage.

 

What I still believe is that as soon Kane found things were getting serious, in his own heart, he cut off the relationship. Because that?s how men like him typically would behave. I don?t think that?s a bad thing either, so quit saying I?m criticizing or selling him short. How many men would want a wife with Helen?s background and her present involvement with men? Because I am convinced utterly that her business partners are former clients. Why else would she be so comfortable receiving them in her dressing gown and why else would they be afraid for anyone to know they were visiting her? Come now. And as I said before, without clear indication from Will that he would marry her, she wouldn?t be wise to give all that up.

 

Maybe I persist in seeing it this way because the degree of her resentment, her fury and hurt toward Kane suggests to me that he left her in a way that she feels was unjust.

 

This would mean Helen didn't love Will. How could she go around sleeping with other

men if she truly loved Will?

 

How could she stop if he didn?t promise to marry her? Love is all sweet and nice but it?s NOT marriage which is the only justification, aside from spiritual reasons, for her to discontinue her course of livelihood, whatever its nature. She had more to lose than some schoolgirl. How do you know he proposed marriage? I can?t see him doing that, I really can?t. He?s too rational, too mature to go proposing to a somewhat ?notorious? woman. You think that?s awful of him, I don?t. I think it?s sensible. If he were Harvey, it would be different. A young man doesn?t think about what?s sensible, and that too, is not a bad thing in my eyes, not always.

 

Why would Helen say, "do you think I've changed" to him? That

makes it seem like Will wanted her to be something that she wasn't willing to be. What

would that be? And what is it that Amy is giving him that Helen cannot? What do you

think?

 

I think it?s possible it could mean she resents that he left her because she was what she was. She says it so resentfully, as if he rejected her before for being something not worth marrying. It?s the level of fury in which she says it that says to me that she has some justification for being resentful toward him. He hurt her deeply---and I don?t blame him or her, it?s a tough situation. In this respect I agree again with Jackie, Will is only human, and I can believe he would cringe from marrying someone like Helen, especially at his age. This doesn?t make him any less of a good, decent man---isn?t it supposed to confirm it, rather? We know he cares a lot about her, but is it the kind of love to override all the prejudices? I doubt it. He?s quite adamant to Harvey that he is not the least interested in Harvey?s involvement with Helen. I think he means it.

 

 

I think differently of Will. I actually believe Will did love Helen and wanted to settle down

with her. I don't see Will judging her in a harsh way. But her line of, "do you think

I've changed," could suggest he's judging her. Still, I just don't see this being Will.

 

I do. At least, when they were together. I don?t think he judges her anymore. He may even regret his decision at some level.

 

 

Well, you are right... again. This is no good. I think most have the capability to

change.

 

I don?t really refer to change so much as we have within us conflicting impulses.

 

I really like your usage of the phrase: mistaken choices. That is what I feel Helen has

done. Still, she's the kind of woman who is always ready to move on to the next. She's a

survivor. She must continue on with her business, to which men are a part.

 

I think she was ready to stop that with Will, I believe there was a disconnect, that he didn?t give her enough assurance he would marry her and her pride being hurt by that, and frightened by her own degree of emotional attachment to him, she would probably even taunt him with her continued conduct. Lovers play stupidly with each other?s hearts, if you don?t know.

 

 

Yes, I do know this. I truly believe Amy is to be admired. She's most definitely my kind

of girl. She may be stubborn, but at least she cares about a man and is willing to

sacrifice for one.

 

She?s a good girl, and childishness is her only real fault. She?s also obviously ?new? to being a Quaker because they not only are supposed to be opposed to violence, but if I?m not mistaken the wives are to be in submission to their husbands so why did she start giving him bold faced ultimatums, almost a direct order, before the ink on the license was dry? :P

She made a vow ?till death do us part? and she could only see that he wasn?t doing what she wanted. Isn?t she also to do what he wants? Especially when it?s to the greater good? She picks and chooses what Quaker rules to follow I think.

 

It's my belief she had the chance to sacrifice for Will when she was with him but chose

not to. This is why I say she's full of it.

 

I don?t think it?s that BLACK AND WHITE. :P

 

I don?t think he really felt he could go through with marriage to her, even if he wanted to

marry her. I don't know if he could stomach her up until then, recent relationships with

men. He?d really be a ?saint? if he did!

 

I don't think she's as honest as you think. I believe she lies to herself. False pride. She's

going to end up rich and lonely. Hollow.

 

I disagree with the first part, agree with the last part.

 

Now admit you were wrong about Doniphon.

 

No! He's a condescending jerk, initially.

 

Never speak to me again about him. I?m finished with explaining a real hero to you, Rancid.

 

She's a woman who lives off of men, that fact isn't disguised at all in this movie

 

Are you reading this, Jackie? She's a user!

 

I don?t see what choice she has---somewhere along the line she started that line of profession and in such small worlds as Hadleyville, she was not to be allowed to do anything else---except if a man like Kane married her. Even then, they?d probably have to leave town, he?d probably lose his job over that and I?m not sure he?d like that. You see, he?s older, he?s got as much to lose as Helen would.

 

 

No, no, no. It's all about The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

 

I?m sure others will be happy to discuss THAT with you. NOT me.

 

But I feel Amy has more heart than Helen and she's in her early-20s. I take Helen to be

in her 30s. I don't think heart has anything to do with age.

 

She didn?t have much heart until she realized what she was about to lose. What makes her so different then, to Helen?

 

In this scenario, you paint Will out to be a user, so Jackie should be smiling. I just

don't see Will being this kind of man. It doesn't seem to match his character. Do you

think Helen surprised him with the "truth" about what she was? Do you think he was

naive enough to not figure it out on his own? He chose to be with her, and I still believe he

has very deep feelings for Helen. I just can't see Will saying, "all this sex has been

great, Helen, my dear, but you're not my kind of gal." I think he loved her, but he wanted

her to change. So what is it that Will wanted Helen to change?

 

He can fall in love without even realizing it, consider marrying Helen, then, weighing the options choose to get out before there was too much hurt. He may not realize how much Helen came to care for him. I don?t believe there was ever a proposal of marriage from him.

 

Will is giving up the badge for a reason.

 

For a virginal Quaker, yes, of course! It?s all so right now, so good. I?m not being sarcastic---Amy IS better material outwardly for a wife. Also in terms of values, she?s far better than Helen. I just don?t think she loved Kane any deeper and could have done with half of Helen?s courage and honesty.

 

 

That was very good. I think you are right. I find Ona Munson to be warmer than Katy

Jurado. Katy is jagged to me. She's got sharp edges. But I also got the sense that

Belle actually loved Rhett more than Helen loved Will. It was in her eyes. She was

really hurting for HIM. She cared about him that much. Boy, Ona's performance is

excellent in Gone With the Wind. It's full of emotion and... love

 

It IS in Helen?s body language and eyes. Remember her gesture when he closed the door on her? Her upraised and clutched hand, raised as if to stop him? Remember how she watched him as she and Amy, Miss cold profile, rode out of town? I think her eyes shimmered with love and with goodbye.

 

Because Helen was Frank's dame and then she jumped into Will's bed. This places

Helen in great danger. Frank is going to really give Helen the "business" if they are to

meet again. Will knows this. Helen knows this. And guess who else knows this?:

 

By your same analogy, what does it say about Will that he would take Frank?s ?leavings?? :P

 

It's all speculative, but I believe it's important we think about such things if we are to

"get" the characters Helen and Amy. The simple way is to just say, "Amy isn't standing

by her man and Helen would." You see, it just ain't that simple to me.

 

Nor me, either. Which leads me to what I alluded to before, something in common between the two women. Both are formed by their past, especially in relation to men in their past. We only know Helen is ?all alone in the world?, that means no Papa, no protector. So, she makes money her bodyguard, her shield since men are not to be trusted. Amy?s men were taken from her too; her father and brother, were murdered, before her eyes. She sees that men who live by the gun die by it. Her credo then will be the Quaker?s pacifist belief. It will protect her from this ever happening again. Well, both nearly lose it all despite their best efforsts. Helen really does lose, she loses her hard earned place in business, in town, and even in a small corner of Will Kane?s life, maybe the only man she ever loved. Amy almost lost it all, too.

 

I think both women are the way they are because of what happened with their fathers, the men in their youth. Amy?s not really a Quaker through and through it seems to me, she?s a little too apt to follow her own independent ideas. She just may be hiding a little from life. I say this while agreeing with her principals and even disagreeing, in principal, with her use of a gun in that critical moment.

 

Yes, I believe Helen WOULD pick up a gun and help fight the Miller gang with Will. That's

definitely befitting her character. She would stand by her man in that instance. However,

when asked to settle down, she won't stand by him.

 

I don?t believe she was ever explicitly asked.

 

I'm basing everything off of how Will Kane is in his scene with Helen. The feeling I get

is that he still deeply cares about Helen. I get the sense that he still loved her. So why

in the world wouldn't he marry her? Why?

 

Because of what she was! Most men won?t marry that, especially principled guys of an age like

Kane.

 

So you believe as Jackie does: Will was the problem. I'm on the other side of that

fence. I think Will is purer than Helen. I believe he wanted to settle down with Helen

but she was unwilling to do so. She loved him but she didn't love him. What's a

man to do?

 

No, I think there was no clear understanding between them. They both loved, but I don?t think marriage was ever discussed. I can see Helen sensing his conflict and being furious at it, at her own feelings for him, and provoking him perhaps to leave. She?d never get over that, never forgive him or herself. I can see it that way quite vividly. I may be wrong.

 

No! I think Will wanted to settle down and Helen didn't want to. In Gunsmoke, I see

it being the opposite. I see Miss Kitty wanting to settle down but not Matt. Of course,

what's Gunsmoke if Matt ain't the sheriff? I wonder if Miss Kitty would shack up with

Newly?

 

Ha! You could be right, I just see it my way. I don?t believe Kane would marry Helen and I don?t blame him or judge him, either way.

 

I think she is afraid of Frank Miller but she wasn't in contact with him. Yes, I know

she says she's not afraid of him, but I don't buy it.

 

No.

 

I disagree. I believe she is leaving because her business is in jeopardy in a lawless

town and it would be Frank who was back in charge, which really places her and her

business in serious jeopardy. She's fleeing to protect her own hide. She's a

businesswoman and a survivor. Maybe this is where Helen and Amy are the same. They

are both fleeing for their "principles."

 

Yes, she?s leaving for that as I said, because she has no other reason to stay. Will is not hers, so what makes her so awful for leaving?

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Here is the link to the other conversation for those who want to go back and read it:

 

http://forums.tcm.com/jive/tcm/thread.jspa?threadID=114903

 

And here is my latest response to FrankGrimes:

 

I just finally realized why I don't think Helen is the way you say she is, Frank, and I am using your own weird logic to prove it. :)

 

Your argument hasn't sat well with me for some time because I cannot understand why a man like Will would be attracted to, much less in love with such a creature - the creature you described as cold, only out for herself and her business, and a user. And don't tell me he made a mistake! That is not allowed! If you can't see that Helen made a mistake with Harvey, then I can't see that Will made a mistake with Helen. Besides, you said that Will didn't make a mistake with Helen yourself.

 

Do you honestly think Will Kane would fall for such a woman?

 

I don't. In fact, I think it is impossible. I don't think that Helen is duplicitous or phony. She would have had to purposely set out to fool him, and he would have to be as gullible as a spring lamb to fall for it. I don't think either of them are like that in any way shape or form. And I don't think he is the type to just go into something without any thought at all. That is why I think you are wrong about Helen Ramirez. Going on the "Will's character is why I believe the way I do" argument, I just can't buy that Will could be either that stupid, or that needy. His character shows me that he would not be interested a woman like that.

 

I think and I have always thought that her line "Do you think I have changed?" and the next two lines ( I think it's just two short lines) about not lifting a finger for him are said in anger. She has been waiting for her moment to finally say the things on her mind from a year ago. She has saved up a lot of hurt, and she blurts these words out angrily. I take the "Do you think I have changed?" line to mean, "I told you I didn't want to see you again when you told me it wouldn't work out between us. And I still feel the same way." In her mind, there are 3 reasons he might be back....

 

1. to apologize for his behavior.

 

2. to get back with her.

 

3. to get her to help him with Frank.

 

Think of her feelings.... he only comes to her when he needs help.... how would you feel if the girl you loved left you and came back a year later only to ask you for protection against an old boyfriend? You would be mad or hurt. Either way, she could very likely say, "Do you think I have changed?" meaning, "Do you think I want you back? " or "Do you think I'm not mad anymore?" She wants to hurt him the way that she has been hurt.

 

After she says her piece, she changes toward him. Her words change. The emotion behind her next few lines is different. She loses her anger. She has said her piece, and it didn't make her feel good. In fact, she feels bad. She realizes something. That she never wanted him to leave, and that she still has feelings for him? I am not sure. I can't remember if Will has some caring words for her at that point, or what happens specifically, but she changes. She becomes softer and more caring to him.

 

OK, I looked up the exchange on filmsite, here it is:

 

Helen: What are you looking at? You think I have changed? Well, what do you want? Do you want me to help you? Do you want me to ask Frank to let you go? Do you want me to beg for you? Well, I would not do it. I would not lift a finger for you.

Kane: I came to tell ya he was comin'. I should have figured you'd know about it.

Helen: I know about it.

Kane: I think you ought to get out of town. I might not be able to, well...anything can happen.

Helen: I'm not afraid of him.

Kane: I know you're not, but you, you know how he is.

Helen: I know how he is. Maybe he doesn't know.

Kane: He's probably got letters.

Helen: Probably. Nothing in life is free. I'm getting out. I'm packing.

Kane: That's good.

Helen: http://They exchange a few words of Spanish. Un a?o sin verte. ("One year without seeing you.")

Kane: Si, lo s?. ("Yes, I know it.")

Kane: Goodbye, Helen.

Helen: Kane, if you're smart, you will get out too.

Kane: I can't.

Helen (with understanding): I know.

 

Nothing in life is free.... meaning that she would have liked it if her relationship with Will had been untouched by the spectre of Frank Miller.... her love for Kane and her happiness with him was something she had to eventually pay for. Any good thing in life you must be punished for. This is why I feel that Helen's life has been very hard. And I do feel sorry for her.

 

She changes.... at the end of the exchange she says "If you are smart, you will get out too." Meaning she does care what happens to him.

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She didn?t have much heart until she realized what she was about to lose. What makes her so different then, to Helen?

 

Ha! Yes..... exactly. They are very much alike, just made different decisions.... and *Helen HELPED Amy make the right decision.* If Amy had been like you Frank, and decided that she wasn't going to listen to a "cold user" talk about love, she would have left Will.

 

 

Nor me, either. Which leads me to what I alluded to before, something in common between the two women. Both are formed by their past, especially in relation to men in their past. We only know Helen is ?all alone in the world?, that means no Papa, no protector. So, she makes money her bodyguard, her shield since men are not to be trusted. Amy?s men were taken from her too; her father and brother, were murdered, before her eyes. She sees that men who live by the gun die by it. Her credo then will be the Quaker?s pacifist belief. It will protect her from this ever happening again. Well, both nearly lose it all despite their best efforts. Helen really does lose, she loses her hard earned place in business, in town, and even in a small corner of Will Kane?s life, maybe the only man she ever loved. Amy almost lost it all, too.

 

I think both women are the way they are because of what happened with their fathers, the men in their youth. Amy?s not really a Quaker through and through it seems to me, she?s a little too apt to follow her own independent ideas. She just may be hiding a little from life. I say this while agreeing with her principals and even disagreeing, in principal, with her use of a gun in that critical moment.

 

Beautifully said, MissG. That was fantastic.

 

Frank wrote: I'm basing everything off of how Will Kane is in his scene with Helen. The feeling I get

is that he still deeply cares about Helen. I get the sense that he still loved her. So why

in the world wouldn't he marry her? Why?

 

Are you saying that Will still loves Helen while married to Amy? Because I say that is not right at all. Will could not love two women at the same time, that would go against his morals, which are everything to him. I agree that he might love Helen as a friend..... but I think that was the problem to begin with... he did not have a love with Helen that was strong, overwhelming, and right. And I am not saying that it was his fault at all, merely that he was the one to realize it was not going to work and walk away. Haven't you ever been in a relationship in which the people were both good people, but the dynamic was wrong? This is what I think happened between Will and Helen. I think he loved Helen, but perhaps, when it came right down to it, he was not IN love with Helen, and he was too honorable to continue the relationship knowing that.

 

For a virginal Quaker, yes, of course! It?s all so right now, so good. I?m not being sarcastic---Amy IS better material outwardly for a wife. Also in terms of values, she?s far better than Helen. I just don?t think she loved Kane any deeper and could have done with half of Helen?s courage and honesty.

 

I can totally agree with this.

 

Frank wrote: Are you reading this, Jackie? She's a user!

 

Miss G wrote: I don?t see what choice she has---somewhere along the line she started that line of profession and in such small worlds as Hadleyville, she was not to be allowed to do anything else---except if a man like Kane married her.

 

I already told you, Frank, that all women at the time were users of men... they had to be, it was either marriage to a man of position, or the other life.... the life of Belle Watling. It's a man's world.

 

No, I think there was no clear understanding between them. They both loved, but I don?t think marriage was ever discussed. I can see Helen sensing his conflict and being furious at it, at her own feelings for him, and provoking him perhaps to leave. She?d never get over that, never forgive him or herself. I can see it that way quite vividly. I may be wrong.

 

This seems right to me. Again, I think that the dynamic between them was somehow wrong.... not anyone 's fault, but she was more in love with him than he was with her.

 

Frank wrote: I think she is afraid of Frank Miller but she wasn't in contact with him. Yes, I know

she says she's not afraid of him, but I don't buy it.

 

She doesn't say she isn't afraid of him..... she says she can take care of herself. Those are two distinctly different things.

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We've been having a discussion about High Noon in the Robert Ryan thread,

which probably should be continued here because it's quite interesting. I hope

the other Coops girls will join in. Here is my reply to FrankGrimes' latest

wrongheaded posts:

 

I'm the only one making sense! :P

 

I differ with you and Jackie with all this. I believe Helen was interested in Will because

he was now the man in charge in Hadleyville. She went after him. Will, being

a single guy with no real cares for things like love, marriage, and family, welcomed

her advances.

 

I think it?s possible that was how it began, but she soon found herself in love.

 

I agree with that. I believe Helen loves Will.

 

I don?t agree. When she leaves Hadleyville she?s only got half what her business is

worth and we aren?t told if she has much more. She?s not as rich as you seem to

think and nothing disappears faster than money. At her age she can?t turn over a

new leaf unless it?s through marriage.

 

I believe she had her chance. I don't see Helen being one to commit to a man.

 

What I still believe is that as soon Kane found things were getting serious, in his own

heart, he cut off the relationship. Because that?s how men like him typically would

behave. I don?t think that?s a bad thing either, so quit saying I?m criticizing or selling

him short.

 

If that's how it went down, my sympathies would be with Helen and I'd call Will a using

jerk. But that's not how I believe it to be.

 

How many men would want a wife with Helen?s background and her present

involvement with men?

 

Not many men would want a woman who is sleeping around while "committed and in love"

with them. But I don't think Helen is sleeping around.

 

Because I am convinced utterly that her business partners are former clients. Why else

would she be so comfortable receiving them in her dressing gown and why else would

they be afraid for anyone to know they were visiting her? Come now.

 

To be seen with Helen is to be seen with the devil, or, you could even say, seen with a

commie. But I'm not interested in discussing the politics. I don't think the men are afraid to

be seen with her because they've been with her. They just don't want their wives and the

"good" people in town to know they are meeting with her. Guilt by association.

 

I love your point about her being very comfortable while wearing a "dressing gown." This

does tell us a lot about Helen. This does speak to your "honesty."

 

And as I said before, without clear indication from Will that he would marry her, she

wouldn?t be wise to give all that up.

 

I don't think she'd give that up for any man. That's where we differ. This is why I say she's

full of it.

 

Maybe I persist in seeing it this way because the degree of her resentment, her fury

and hurt toward Kane suggests to me that he left her in a way that she feels was unjust.

 

This is a very good point. It makes sense. My belief is that she's too headstrong to give in

and change for any man. She doesn't like being the one without the say, making the

decision. She bullies everyone else around, but not Will. Will chose to leave her. How dare

him! You don't do that to Helen Ramirez. It's a stubborn pride thing with Helen, ala Amy.

So there's your similarity for me. Helen is just as guilty of it as Amy is.

 

How could she stop if he didn?t promise to marry her? Love is all sweet and nice but

it?s NOT marriage which is the only justification, aside from spiritual reasons, for her to discontinue her course of livelihood, whatever its nature.

 

I disagree. I think a person can make a choice to do something outside of love and

spirituality. I don't believe those are the only dictating forces of humanity. Self respect is a

huge one with me.

 

She had more to lose than some schoolgirl. How do you know he proposed

marriage? I can?t see him doing that, I really can?t. He?s too rational, too mature to go

proposing to a somewhat ?notorious? woman. You think that?s awful of him, I don?t. I think

it?s sensible. If he were Harvey, it would be different. A young man doesn?t think about

what?s sensible, and that too, is not a bad thing in my eyes, not always.

 

I don't believe Will ever asked Helen to marry him. I think he discussed the

future with her and she wasn't willing to give him what he wanted. I've never been in any

kind of serious relationship, but if I were, I'd want to discuss things about marriage and

family BEFORE I asked a girl to marry me. I feel it's best to lay some things on the

table right from the get, not after the fact.

 

As for Will being sensible... is it sensible for him to take on four very bad men all by

himself? If he's willing to do that, he'd be willing to marry a woman like Helen. I seemingly

hold Will in higher esteem than you. You hold Helen in higher esteem than me. I like it!

Ohhh, wait, I'm actually on the side of a Gary Cooper character. I changed my mind! Helen

is a sweet, loving woman who always did what Will wanted her to do. She was

sacrificial at every turn! :P

 

I think it?s possible it could mean she resents that he left her because she was what

she was. She says it so resentfully, as if he rejected her before for being something

not worth marrying. It?s the level of fury in which she says it that says to me that she

has some justification for being resentful toward him. He hurt her deeply---and I don?t

blame him or her, it?s a tough situation.

 

I do agree with you. Helen's emotions have gotten the better of her. She is still

extremely bitter over how Will left her. "Resentful" is the perfect word. She snaps at

him with her, "you think I have changed?" So Will wanted her to be something

different. Helen can't change the past, so what in the present did Will expect to

be different with her. Are you saying she's still sleeping around while with Will and

is not about to change? That would be damn cold of her. What is it that Will wanted

Helen to "change"? For example, Amy cannot tell Will, "you must go back and

eliminate all those men you killed before because I don't like violence." That is

something Will cannot do. Will can only change the present. He can stop killing today.

 

Yes, it all comes back to Helen's words of, "you think I have changed?" The word

"changed" is important to me. There's no changing the past, it's all about the present or

future.

 

In this respect I agree again with Jackie, Will is only human, and I can believe he

would cringe from marrying someone like Helen, especially at his age. This doesn?t

make him any less of a good, decent man---isn?t it supposed to confirm it, rather?

We know he cares a lot about her, but is it the kind of love to override all the

prejudices? I doubt it. He?s quite adamant to Harvey that he is not the least

interested in Harvey?s involvement with Helen. I think he means it.

 

I think Will is upset at hearing Helen is with Harvey, but he realizes, he's a

married man and she can do whatever she pleases. I just feel he believes she

is better than that. He doesn't have much respect for Harvey, which speaks badly of

Helen. HE thinks BETTER of Helen.

 

And I happen to believe a man like Will would be willing to marry a woman like

Helen. I just don't see him letting others dictate his feelings. He's not one of those

who sneaks around the back door, he comes through the front. He's going to do

what's best for him. I do NOT believe Will is some kind of saint. He'd marry

Mary Magdalene because he loves her. I just don't view Will as some moralistic

man of great virtue. I actually believe he's more flawed than you do, but I do see

him as being a "white" character.

 

I don?t think he judges her anymore. He may even regret his decision at some level.

 

I really don't think he judged her. He just wanted something she was unwilling to give. As

I said before, "what's a man to do?"

 

She?s a good girl, and childishness is her only real fault. She?s also obviously ?new?

to being a Quaker because they not only are supposed to be opposed to violence,

but if I?m not mistaken the wives are to be in submission to their husbands so why

did she start giving him bold faced ultimatums, almost a direct order, before the ink

on the license was dry? She made a vow ?till death do us part? and she could only

see that he wasn?t doing what she wanted. Isn?t she also to do what he wants?

Especially when it?s to the greater good? She picks and chooses what Quaker

rules to follow I think.

 

I think most everyone "picks and chooses" what rules to obey. She's no different than

the rest of us.

 

One of the biggest reasons why I view High Noon to be a film about marriage

is how Amy acts. She is in the wrong because she is stubborn and childish. She is

very young and foolish.

 

We know Will has given up his badge and has agreed to run a store with her. He

has SACRIFICED for Amy. So what has she sacrificed for him? It's one thing to have

a strong belief system, it's another to place that belief system ahead of your husband at

a time of need. If her belief system means that much to her, she shouldn't marry a man,

she should marry her religion. She should devote herself to that, not him. If you are going

to devote yourself to a man, you are going to have to compromise, including some

of your beliefs. Will is doing this for her. Amy eventually figures this out. She

comes around.

 

I hope to explain Amy and her actions some more. She's an easy one to figure out. She's

the honest one, not Helen.

 

I don?t think he really felt he could go through with marriage to her, even if he wanted to

marry her. I don't know if he could stomach her up until then, recent relationships with

men. He?d really be a ?saint? if he did!

 

Not really. A man can see a woman for who she truly is despite her past actions. There's

nothing saintly about that. People can CHANGE... if they wish to. Helen ain't one to

change.

 

Never speak to me again about him. I?m finished with explaining a real hero to you, Rancid.

 

:D I shall convince you that Doniphon is a condescending jerk who comes around! :P

 

I don?t see what choice she has---somewhere along the line she started that line

of profession and in such small worlds as Hadleyville, she was not to be allowed to

do anything else---except if a man like Kane married her. Even then, they?d probably

have to leave town, he?d probably lose his job over that and I?m not sure he?d like

that. You see, he?s older, he?s got as much to lose as Helen would.

 

He's going off to a run store!

 

She didn?t have much heart until she realized what she was about to lose. What

makes her so different then, to Helen?

 

Amy didn't want to lose her love. She had to change.

 

For a virginal Quaker, yes, of course! It?s all so right now, so good. I?m not being

sarcastic---Amy IS better material outwardly for a wife. Also in terms of values, she?s

far better than Helen. I just don?t think she loved Kane any deeper and could have

done with half of Helen?s courage and honesty.

 

What separates Amy and Helen to me is true love and the want to sacrifice for your

love. I don't view Helen as good material for a wife because she places herself and

her wants above all else. As you and Jackie have pointed out, she's had to do this

because she had no one to look after her. But when she has a man willing to look after

her, she pushes him away. I think how she has lived has made her how she is

now... cold. She's afraid to change what life has created her as.

 

It IS in Helen?s body language and eyes. Remember her gesture when he closed

the door on her? Her upraised and clutched hand, raised as if to stop him? Remember

how she watched him as she and Amy, Miss cold profile, rode out of town? I think

her eyes shimmered with love and with goodbye.

 

You are correct. Her wanting to reach out and grab Will as he shut the door was a very

warm moment for Helen. I'm with ya. That was Helen's best moment for me.

 

By your same analogy, what does it say about Will that he would take Frank?s ?leavings??

 

As I said before, I think Will was the same as Helen, at first. I believe he was out for fun

and sex. He was a single guy with no plans. He didn't care about anything past living

in the now. But I believe he eventually started to want something more out of life and he

wanted to take the next step with Helen.

 

Jackie is right, Helen's not wanting to settle down and start a family doesn't make her a

bad woman. Will wanted one thing and she wanted another. And so it goes. I've got a

problem with how she goes about choosing men and using men. That's why I find her to

be ice cold.

 

It's all speculative, but I believe it's important we think about such things if we are to

"get" the characters Helen and Amy. The simple way is to just say, "Amy isn't standing

by her man and Helen would." You see, it just ain't that simple to me.

 

Nor me, either. Which leads me to what I alluded to before, something in common

between the two women. Both are formed by their past, especially in relation to men

in their past. We only know Helen is ?all alone in the world?, that means no Papa, no

protector. So, she makes money her bodyguard, her shield since men are not to be

trusted. Amy?s men were taken from her too; her father and brother, were murdered,

before her eyes. She sees that men who live by the gun die by it. Her credo then

will be the Quaker?s pacifist belief. It will protect her from this ever happening

again. Well, both nearly lose it all despite their best efforsts. Helen really does

lose, she loses her hard earned place in business, in town, and even in a small

corner of Will Kane?s life, maybe the only man she ever loved. Amy almost lost it

all, too.

 

I think both women are the way they are because of what happened with their fathers,

the men in their youth. Amy?s not really a Quaker through and through it seems

to me, she?s a little too apt to follow her own independent ideas. She just may be

hiding a little from life. I say this while agreeing with her principals and even

disagreeing, in principal, with her use of a gun in that critical moment.

 

That was very, very good. I agree with you. I do believe Helen and Amy are the

same in that their harsh pasts have shaped their current feelings and that each

is looking to protect themselves from further pain in their own ways. Amy has

chosen religion while Helen has chosen business. I think Helen uses men because

she doesn't want to be hurt by them. She's the aggressor. She's the one to do the

hurting. Will hurt her, though. Why? Because I do believe she fell in love with him

and he made the decision to leave her. What we disagree on is the why he left

Helen.

 

No, I think there was no clear understanding between them. They both loved, but

I don?t think marriage was ever discussed. I can see Helen sensing his conflict and

being furious at it, at her own feelings for him, and provoking him perhaps to

leave. She?d never get over that, never forgive him or herself. I can see it that way

quite vividly. I may be wrong.

 

So you are saying Will said, "It's been nice, baby, but I must end it now because you're

a tramp, and no man wants a tramp." Boy, if that's the case, I am COMPLETELY on

Helen's side. I'd resent the heck out of him. He's a total user then.

 

Ha! You could be right, I just see it my way. I don?t believe Kane would marry Helen

and I don?t blame him or judge him, either way.

 

You're blind!

 

I think she is afraid of Frank Miller but she wasn't in contact with him. Yes, I know

she says she's not afraid of him, but I don't buy it.

 

No.

 

Yes! She's afraid of Frank Miller, hence her high-tailin' it out of town. She's a runner.

 

Yes, she?s leaving for that as I said, because she has no other reason to stay. Will

is not hers, so what makes her so awful for leaving?

 

Will was leaving town before the news of Frank Miller being out and she was STAYING

then. She wasn't looking to sell off her business and bolt.

 

I have absolutely loved and appreciated all of your words on this. You have surprised me

because you have been tougher on Will than me and even tougher on Helen, in one

regard. It's been fascinating to read your theories on what happened between Will and

Helen. There's no right answer, just your own feelings and thoughts... and they have been

fantastic.

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And you, my dear, deserve a medal for putting up with me. I've always liked your

willingness to mix it up and to not back down to fools like me. Your thoughts and feelings

have also been exceptional. Only fools seriously partake in the non-serious. This

fool thanks you.

 

And here is my latest response to FrankGrimes:

 

Uh-oh! :P

 

I just finally realized why I don't think Helen is the way you say she is, Frank, and

I am using your own weird logic to prove it.

 

Weird logic?! It makes perfect sense! I think you need to understand how a character

is before you can decide what they may do or did.

 

Your argument hasn't sat well with me for some time because I cannot understand

why a man like Will would be attracted to, much less in love with such a creature - the

creature you described as cold, only out for herself and her business, and a user. And

don't tell me he made a mistake! That is not allowed! If you can't see that Helen made

a mistake with Harvey, then I can't see that Will made a mistake with Helen. Besides,

you said that Will didn't make a mistake with Helen yourself.

 

No, Will did not make a mistake in falling in love with Helen.

 

I actually don't view Will as some kind of moralistic saint. Keep in mind, he hasn't been

in church, which is sort of code for, "I haven't always been good." I do view him as

being a very "white" character, though.

 

As I said before, I believe Will and Helen were similar in that they only looked to have

fun with each other. It was passion that drove them together, but passion only goes so

far. I think Will started to want more out of life and this led to some serious discussions

with Helen.

 

Do you honestly think Will Kane would fall for such a woman?

 

Absolutely!

 

I don't. In fact, I think it is impossible. I don't think that Helen is duplicitous or

phony. She would have had to purposely set out to fool him, and he would have to be

as gullible as a spring lamb to fall for it. I don't think either of them are like that in any

way shape or form. And I don't think he is the type to just go into something without

any thought at all. That is why I think you are wrong about Helen Ramirez. Going on

the "Will's character is why I believe the way I do" argument, I just can't buy that

Will could be either that stupid, or that needy. His character shows me that he

would not be interested a woman like that.

 

You see, I think Will has matured and Helen has not. Will used to be a different kind

of man, but he changed. Ohhh, I think he was always principled when it came to

justice, but when it came to his personal life, he was aimless. Most men (and women)

get to a point where they want more out of life than just foolin' around. What you want in

your 20s is most likely going to be different in your 30s and then your 40s.

 

If Will was so above being with a tramp, why in the world would he ever start a relationship

with her in the first place? Do you really think he didn't know Helen was a tramp? Did

he not know she was Frank's dame? Was he this naive and blind? I don't think so. So

he's not some pure white dove who is judging Helen. That's not Will, to me.

 

Would Will be with a cold woman? Yes. But he would tell you she's not cold. The

reason why I consider Helen to be cold is how she chooses men, how she treats

Harvey, and my belief she chooses herself and her business over a man and love. Having

said that, I do NOT believe she was cold with Will.

 

We all react differently to how a person or character makes us feel. I believe Helen

to be cold and Amy to be warm. Most think the opposite. We all have our definitions of

what "cold" and "warm" are, too. I'm sure Helen is warm to be around, but I find her heart

to be cold. I think Amy is cold to be around, but I find her heart to be warm. This is what

I feel. I think Miss G is a glacier, yet others don't seem to believe it. :P:P

 

I think and I have always thought that her line "Do you think I have changed?" and the

next two lines ( I think it's just two short lines) about not lifting a finger for him are said

in anger. She has been waiting for her moment to finally say the things on her mind from

a year ago. She has saved up a lot of hurt, and she blurts these words out angrily.

 

I certainly agree with that. She's boiling.

 

I take the "Do you think I have changed?" line to mean, "I told you I didn't want to see

you again when you told me it wouldn't work out between us. And I still feel the same

way."

 

Now that's very interesting. I can buy that. Her preceeding line of, "What are you

looking at?" makes me believe Will is doing as Miss G suggests: he's judging her. Or

so she thinks. As we know, her feelings are wrong.

 

Think of her feelings.... he only comes to her when he needs help.... how would

you feel if the girl you loved left you and came back a year later only to ask you

for protection against an old boyfriend? You would be mad or hurt.

 

But Will doesn't come to her for help. He's only looking to protect her. She's wrong and,

to her credit, she does quickly come around with that, ala Amy.

 

Either way, she could very likely say, "Do you think I have changed?" meaning, "Do

you think I want you back? " or "Do you think I'm not mad anymore?"

 

She says, "You think I changed," and then she goes right into asking him what does he

want. It's as if she's saying, "I wasn't willing to do what you wanted before, so what makes

you think I'm going to do it now?" She hasn't changed. She's not going to give in to his

wishes.

 

She wants to hurt him the way that she has been hurt.

 

I agree. She does want to make him feel the hurt she feels.

 

After she says her piece, she changes toward him. Her words change. The emotion

behind her next few lines is different. She loses her anger. She has said her piece,

and it didn't make her feel good. In fact, she feels bad. She realizes something. That

she never wanted him to leave, and that she still has feelings for him? I am not

sure. I can't remember if Will has some caring words for her at that point, or what

happens specifically, but she changes. She becomes softer and more caring to him.

 

She's reacting to Will. Will doesn't react to her anger and she soon realizes she is

WRONG about him. He's not looking to do something for himself, he's looking to do

something for HER. The reason she blurted what she blurted at him is because Helen

only thinks of herself. She thinks everyone else is the same as her. However, she

later redeems herself. She DOES sacrifice for Will. She pulls a "Doniphon." It's her

shining moment. It shows she does have a heart. ;):D

 

Nothing in life is free.... meaning that she would have liked it if her relationship with

Will had been untouched by the spectre of Frank Miller.... her love for Kane and her

happiness with him was something she had to eventually pay for. Any good thing in

life you must be punished for. This is why I feel that Helen's life has been very hard. And

I do feel sorry for her.

 

I take her "nothing in life is free" to mean she was wrong and had to pay the

consequences for it. But I really like what you have to say about that line, as well. I do

feel sorry for her in terms of where she started, it's where she is now where I don't feel

sorry for her. She's making some bad decisions, and she should know better. I'm like

Will, I feel Helen is better than that. The ol' "my life has been tough" song just doesn't

cut it now. She's got it pretty good and she should be much wiser now.

 

She changes.... at the end of the exchange she says "If you are smart, you will get

out too." Meaning she does care what happens to him.

 

I do believe she still cares about Will and his well-being.

 

Are you saying that Will still loves Helen while married to Amy? Because I say that is

not right at all. Will could not love two women at the same time, that would go against

his morals, which are everything to him. I agree that he might love Helen as a

friend..... but I think that was the problem to begin with... he did not have a love with

Helen that was strong, overwhelming, and right. And I am not saying that it was his

fault at all, merely that he was the one to realize it was not going to work and walk

away. Haven't you ever been in a relationship in which the people were both good

people, but the dynamic was wrong? This is what I think happened between Will

and Helen. I think he loved Helen, but perhaps, when it came right down to it, he

was not IN love with Helen, and he was too honorable to continue the relationship

knowing that.

 

I think Will still loves Helen, he's just not in love with her anymore. I believe it's a healthy

thing to still have feelings for past loves, to show concern for them. It's not easy just to

eliminate feelings of love even when you have found a love that is truer.

 

The way Helen reacts with anger to the sight of Will at her door tells me their break-up

wasn't a smooth one. She wants to tear his head off. This lets us know it was definitely

Will who ended the relationship. You and Miss G seem to believe he did so because

he felt he was better than Helen, more moral. This could very well be the case, and that

speaks very badly of Will. I believe he wanted Helen to settle down with him and she

didn't want this... and she does regret her decision.

 

Would Helen hold Will in such high regard if she felt he was judging her for her past?

 

I already told you, Frank, that all women at the time were users of men... they had

to be, it was either marriage to a man of position, or the other life.... the life of Belle

Watling. It's a man's world.

 

But I'm not talking about who makes the money, I'm talking about why a woman gets

involved with a man in the first place. I just don't believe all women only see a man

as a meal ticket. I think most women fall in love with a man and wish to spend their lives

with him because they love him. It's not about his money. Do you think Amy wanted

to marry Will because of his money or his position? I don't think Helen looks to be with

men for love. That's why I call her a "user."

 

I'm very idealistic.

 

She doesn't say she isn't afraid of him..... she says she can take care of herself. Those

are two distinctly different things.

 

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>And you, my dear, deserve a medal for putting up with me.

 

I know.... :)

 

And I've enjoyed it... except when you purposely irk me....

 

OK. I buy that Helen is warm on the outside but cold on the inside, and Amy is cold on the outside and warm on the inside. But I don't think that Helen is SIMPLY a user. She is not all one thing, which is how you presented her before.

 

And I think Helen may be a bit afraid of what Miller can do to her, but her motivations to leave are more about cynicism and a fatalistic approach to life. What MissG said about her rings very true to me. Helen sees Will going down and doesn't wish to watch it. If Will is gone, she has no reason to stay. If she were really as greedy, power hungry and horrible as you say, she would stay and make a profit from Will's downfall, like all the rest of the townspeople think they are going to do. She could get around Miller, I think, if she really wanted to, but her heart is not in the BUSINESS anymore. What you say about Helen may be true, but she has changed and she certainly learned her mistake don't you think?

 

I think that if Helen really wanted to still make a buck off of men, if money was her real motive she would stay and take a little torture with Frank, suck up to him, and then oh, my. That town would be just full of men wanting her services....but that is not what she wants anymore, is it?

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Great discussions and very interesting points from everybody. I?m guessing that Helen was with Frank b/c he was the most powerful man in town and could offer her protection; that had probably been her modus operandi most of her life. When Will and his deputies caught him and his gang and they went to prison, he was now the big man and she moved on to him. He was more than willing I believe to play along and I can?t blame him. Helen was young, smart, and beautiful. I?m guessing that he had never been married before, not really sure why but that?s just the impression I get. I think he was more focused on his career and just didn?t have time for a serious relationship. I can also imagine that he had been with many ?Helen?s? in his day.

 

Here?s how I see it playing out. Will is with Helen and they are having a good time and he does care about her but he has no plans to marry her and I don?t think she would have let him know that she wanted to marry him b/c she doesn?t want to show any signs of weakness or that she really needs someone else. Her independent spirit is probably something that attracted him thinking they could have a good time together and not be serious. I believe she did love him b/c we can see how hurt she was by his leaving. While they were still ?together?, I think Will met Amy. I?m not really sure under what circumstances but he sees that she?s the kind of woman he should marry. He probably realized he was going to end up old and alone and he began courting Amy and fell in love with her. I believe he broke it off with Helen but did not tell her why b/c that would hurt her and I don?t think he wanted to do that. Of course it did hurt her when she saw him going around with Miss Saintly Virgin and she realized why he left and that she could never be that kind of woman b/c of her past.

 

I don?t think that Helen was still prostituting herself out while in Hadleyville though I imagine she had done that before. I think she had saved enough money and she moved there to start clean and opened up the saloon (it?s called the Ramirez Saloon so I assume it?s her) and the general store that she is a partner in. I think here she was trying to be a legitimate business woman but was still using men for the protection they could give her. Those were still rough times for a woman and it didn?t hurt to have a backup plan. I imagine word got around about the kind of woman she had been and that?s why the business men in the town met with her privately in her hotel room. The saloon could bear her name but not a reputable place like a general store.

 

I think when she says ?You think I have changed?? that it wasn?t in response to Will asking her to change b/c I don?t think he did. I think he just broke it off with her for Amy and she knows why without him having to explain it to her. He doesn?t respond to that part of her question b/c he knows why she asked it and I think he does feel bad that she knows why he couldn?t marry her, b/c of her past. He is a decent man and feels bad for the kind of life she had and also b/c he couldn?t get past his own view of not wanting a wife like her. His job is to protect people and emotionally, he let her down and I think that bothers him which is why he went to warn her, to try and protect her now.

 

*Having said that, I do NOT believe she was cold with Will.*

 

I don?t think she was either b/c she was very attracted to him and that did turn to love. She was probably more herself with him than with any other man which again might explain why she was so hurt over his leaving. She was vulnerable with a man in that she let her guard down and fell in love, maybe for the first time, and he broke her heart.

 

I think out of the two women, Helen is definitely the most interesting character. Like Frank said, Amy is pretty easy to figure out. She is young and immature and I think was still growing up when they got married. By the time they leave Hadleyville after the shootout, she has grown up a lot. She?s learned that no matter how staunchly you believe in something like your principles, you may not be able to always stick to them. What?s really important is to have a set of values and try to do what?s right. She realized that her husband, the man she loved, was in mortal danger and it was her duty to stand by him and help him.

 

One thing that hasn?t been mentioned here is Will?s relationship with Harvey. One line that I?m curious about is after Harvey confronts Will about staying and then Harvey says ?you?ve been washed up for over a year.? What did he mean? I?m curious if Will and Amy had been together all that time and if Harvey sensed that Will was wanting to get out of law enforcement and settle down. He could have said that too just to try and hurt Will. Harvey wants to be marshal and I think he?s jealous of Will professionally. I think he?s also jealous of him personally b/c he knows Helen was happier with Will.

 

 

I think Will and Gary are very close to being the same person, maybe that?s why he?s my fave of his characters. Look at Gary in his bachelor days, he was with women very similar to Helen ? Clara Bow, Lupe Velez, Dorothy DiFrasso, etc? These women were a little wild and he was just having fun with them with no serious intentions, but he did care for them and treat them well. He was still running around with Dorothy when he met Rocky, his future wife. Like Amy, she was the marrying kind (and quite a bit younger than him) and he cut ties with the Helen type of woman and settled down with the Amy type. Gary was also a good, decent man but not without his faults just as Will is not without his. More often than not they tried to do the right thing and when they didn?t it bothered them b/c they had a strong sense of right and wrong even if they didn?t always follow it to the letter (i.e. running around with too many women).

 

I think *High Noon* is definitely one of the best films ever made. It has a pretty short running time for a feature and a seemingly simple story, yet there are so many different interpretations. Everyone sees some part of it a little differently and I think the way they put the characters and story together, with some ambiguity about their past, was very smart filmmaking as we are still talking about it today :).

 

Couldn't ya just melt into a puddle of goo? :x

 

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Excellent rebuttal, Mr Grimes, but I still stand by my belief that Will backed out and

for good reason---he wasn't comfortable that all Helen was and did could be put behind

them. Maybe, to your point of view, she resented that he would expect it without first

declaring he would marry her. "You want me to give up all I worked to get...for what??"

This sounds "cold" to your ears, whereas I just think it's wise. She could end up

dead without enough money to secure her future when she's too old to rely on men.

 

And Will giving up Marshalling for "a store" as you say is not so much sacrifice when

he's leaving with a pretty young, uncomplicated bride and all the good wishes of the

townsfolk. What would he have if he married Helen? Stripped of his badge and spat

upon by the hypocrites of Hadleyville. The irony is this is practically what happens to

him anyway, and for doing right by those hypocrites.

 

To his credit, maybe he didn't want that to happen to Helen any more than to himself.

You see all this as selfishness on the part of Helen and Will and I don't. It's not idealistic,

it's not even truly good, that much I agree. But it is very human, realistic and characteristic

of two people who met at that stage of their lives.

 

Wendy summed up my ultimate response better than I could.

 

Would Helen hold Will in such high regard if she felt he was judging her for her past?

 

Absolutely. Helen knows her way of life is to be judged, it's not right. You think she

was raised to think being a woman who lives off of men is right? Of course not. Will

represents the best in human nature, she knows that his "judgements" are correct

and she can still furiously resent them because they are true. Nothing stings like

the truth. She knows he knows her better than anyone else. And I think she knows

that he thinks better of her than she probably does of herself. So I agree with you

there, too. :)

 

P.S. I'm wondering now if we are really to view Amy as being so childish. It doesn't

seem like much of a character when you put it like that. Foreman and whoever else

worked on her character said "she's young and stubborn and doesn't know what she's

doing". Wow, great partner they created for our hero. Maybe Grace's somewhat limited

interpretation is why we view her this way.

 

P.S.S. Regarding Amy choosing Will, her husband, or her beliefs, my beliefs are Scripturally

based, and I can't say whether Amy's were or if she was just being "stubborn" and fearful of

a repetition of what happened to her menfolk. I believe it's the latter. For myself, I have to

disagree with you on where the obligation lies, but I won't go further into it here. :)

 

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To Frank Grimes:

 

Do you think there is the slightest possibility, just the slightest, that Helen is getting out because her presence would just inflame Frank further? Could it be that she is leaving for Will to be a little safer?

 

Coopsgirl:

 

I am very interested in what you said about Harvey. That line is what led me to believe that Will and Amy might have met while he was with Helen....

 

Harvey is just plain jealous of Will about everything. He is like a son to Will, but a son who is spoiled. I do kind of blame Will.... he has not taken the time to show Harvey the ropes properly. He has been distracted for a year. Harvey doesn't care for Helen any more than he cares for a saddle (sorry, maybe that's a bad choice of words) but if Will were to have a horse that Harvey thought should have been his, he would have acted the same way. If Helen had been with someone else, he wouldn't have gone after her in the first place. He wants what Will has. It's all about Will. He wants to be a man without really being a man. He is a spoiled brat who wants what he wants without earning it. He is like Rhoda in The Bad Seed, but at least he has a conscience. He knows what is right and wrong (just as all the townspeople do) but he acts foolishly anyway. He wants the glory of the job but not the responsibility. What makes Will a good sheriff is his caring heart, he wants to protect the people. Harvey only wants the perks of the job and he throws a tantrum to get his way. He picks a time when he thinks Will is going to be weak and sidetracked, thinking he just might give in....Sadly, I don't think Harvey knows himself too well. If he took a look inward, he might actually understand things a little better. But everything is always somebody else's fault.

 

I think that maybe, because Will ran the town so well, he was able to go out to where Amy was living and visit her almost every weekend, if not more. And the job of running the quiet town was left more and more in Harvey's hands, not that Harvey was so capable, but the idea that "Will will be back soon" or " Will's gonna be mad" kept everyone in line.

 

MissG-

 

>*For myself, I have to disagree with you on where the obligation lies*

 

I think you have hit on something here. If Will was an outlaw, and he was Amy's man, should she stand up for him? Throw out her belief system to come to his rescue when he was fighting it out with the good guys? There is a reason for her to have her beliefs....and just supporting her man is not a good enough reason to throw them all away.

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Angie, that was terrific, I like, too, you're bringing up what Harvey said. I forgot about that.

I'm wondering now what he was implying. In many respects, I find him the most despicable

of all the characters. Not the most evil, just contemptible. If he did eventually become

Marshall of Hadleyville, I think the town will have finally gotten the lawman it deserves.

 

Jackie---

 

I think you have hit on something here. If Will was an outlaw, and he was Amy's man,

should she stand up for him? Throw out her belief system to come to his rescue when he was

fighting it out with the good guys? There is a reason for her to have her beliefs....and just

supporting her man is not a good enough reason to throw them all away.

 

Now you're tempting me to go into this further! :D That is a much easier scenario, I think,

in which to take a stand for one's beliefs. FrankGrimes implies that one shouldn't choose

one's "belief system" (his words) over your marriage partner. I think he feels this, in a way,

invalidates those very beliefs. In other words, what good are they if they drive a wedge between

a man and his mate? I think he is right in the context of the film because I think Amy is

hiding a little behind her beliefs. FrankGrimes seems also to think all people do this to a

certain degree, and I completely disagree.

 

Many have lost (gave up, sacrificed) all they had, including their mates, their parents (I did

this) and children over their committment to their beliefs. Isn't that what men do when they go to

war? They choose their beliefs over their wives and children. It's the same issue. But I don't want

to start WW III here so I'll finish by saying that I think instinct took over in Amy at the critical

moment when she saw her husband was about to be killed. You could argue she killed in

"self defense" because he was, technically, now one with her. In such a situation I think

it is at least understandable and I might even do the same thing, right or wrong, just as

I might if it were my child being threatened. If Will were an outlaw...well, maybe you should

see Man of the West, Wendy. But that's another discussion. :)

 

Message was edited by: MissGoddess

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That was a spectacular reply, Clarita. You're actually closer in line to how I view the

situation, which surprises me. I wasn't expecting that. And, what surprises me even

more is that I think I may think better of Will than you. How cool!

 

I will reply to your post later tonight. I was so hoping you needed a spanking, but alas... :P

 

In the meantine, can you remove those hideous photos that you posted? :P

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I just wanted to chime in on this before I left:

 

FrankGrimes implies that one shouldn't choose one's "belief system" (his words) over

your marriage partner. I think he feels this, in a way, invalidates those very beliefs. In

other words, what good are they if they drive a wedge between a man and his mate?

I think he is right in the context of the film because I think Amy is hiding a little behind

her beliefs. FrankGrimes seems also to think all people do this to a certain degree,

and I completely disagree.

 

You are mostly right in what I'm saying. I just think a person shouldn't get married to

another if they are to always choose their belief system over their spouse. "Honey, I'd

love to be there for you, but, you know, my beliefs." What's the point of committing to

a person then? I'm not saying one should jettison their beliefs at every turn, but I do

believe there are moments in time when a compromise is needed. A person shouldn't

ask another to do this, it's up to them to do it for them. That's commitment to me.

 

I'm not a religious person, but I have a belief system. If my wife needed me, I'd be

there. I wouldn't say I couldn't because of my beliefs. She would come first.

 

Now, having said all that, if a person tells you upfront that you are to always be second to

their beliefs and they still marry this person, then they should be prepared for the

circumstances.

 

Amy had to decide between her beliefs or Will. She chose her beliefs until she worried he

had been killed. From then on, she decided it was Will that mattered the most to

her. She was committed to him. I'm sure she will struggle with her decision to kill, but

at least she will have her husband by her side. And I'm sure Will fully understands what

she sacrificed for him. He won't ever forget that. This makes their marriage and

commitment far more powerful than before.

 

This is why I believe High Noon is about marriage and the commitment to one

another that is needed. Helen couldn't fully commit to Will and Amy was struggling

to do so, too. Are you "all in," or aren't you?

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*And, what surprises me even more is that I think I may think better of Will than you. How cool!*

 

You may think better of him that I do TV's Frank, but I bet you don?t think about him the same way as I do :P. Also, the photos stay, especially this one that I have up in my cubicle where I can drool over him all day.

 

Of course I don't think badly of Will. He was a good man but with a little bit of a bad boy streak (shacking up with former prostitutes and all) but that makes him more interesting.

 

highnoon2.jpg

 

Oh the hard time my mother gives me for liking old Gary best ;).

 

In the doc on the latest *HN* dvd release, somebody points out how the Mexican woman character rides off into the sunset unharmed when typically that type of character would have died probably taking a bullet for her man. I haven?t seen too many Westerns (other than Gary?s and some of Stanwyck?s) but I guess must have happened sometimes. Usually it was the white characters who had the most moral virtue and were the heroes but here I think we are meant to sympathize and empathize more with Helen than with Amy. Yet another thing that makes this film so different and unique.

 

Even with a more skilled actress playing Amy, I wouldn?t like her and I don?t think we?re really meant too. Will Kane is the focus of the plot and he?s the one we?re supposed to root for. If Amy dutifully agreed to wait for him in the hotel while he shot it out with the bad guys, it wouldn?t be very interesting. By turning her back on him, she is bound to rile up the audience b/c we "know" Will is the good guy (it's Gary Cooper for goodness sakes!) and that what he?s doing is right in that he?s trying to keep the town safe. She doesn?t see that at first (heck, maybe she never understands) and so we naturally get mad at her which gives Will more empathy and makes the story more powerful.

 

What?s funny though is I don?t think I?ve ever heard anybody talk about disliking Helen or being mad at her b/c she refused to help Will. I think that?s b/c of the maturity of the character and also the fact that Katy Jurado was a good actress who brought out those qualities of hurt and betrayal her character felt so well. We do empathize with her even though Amy is probably the ?better person? if you want to look at it from a moral point of view. Just another interesting twist in this film with characters not being what you think they should be.

 

Jackie,

Great observations about Harvey and how he wants everything Will has/had. I love when he and Helen are discussing how Harvey tried to threaten Will into naming him marshal and she laughs at him and tells him she doesn?t think he will ever be a man like Will is (I don't think she's just talking about being a good marshal either ;) ). She tells him to grow up and he says he's sick of everybody telling him that and she says ?then grow up.? He?s like Mayberry?s deputy Barney to the sheriff Andy (of course Barney is loveable and Harv isn?t). You can tell he does have some respect/kind feelings for Will when he tries to convince him to leave town. He could just be hoping Will would go and then he could be marshal, but I think he was genuinely concerned for him at least a little.

 

What I find very interesting is that the women in town (Amy excluded) seem to know what?s right and are ashamed of the cowardly men. That makes sense too b/c as one of the women explained, Will made the town safe again for women and children. He defended the defenseless and they admire him for that. Amy can?t really understand that b/c she didn?t live there when it was a wild little place and she?s only seen it and Will during peace time. I do like though that the men are easily talked out of helping Will during the scene in the church b/c it seems more realistic. They have been living in peace for years and now all the sudden Will wants them to help him fight the bad guys. These are regular people who have businesses and families and a quiet, routine life. They don?t want to be killed or have to fight and I can imagine many of us would feel that way so I like how they showed that side of it.

 

Not to get political (in that I?m not talking about one person or party) but I think this movie shows us a good lesson in complacency. When the town was rough and tumble they hired Will as their marshal and gave him plenty of deputies to clean it up. When that was done, the number of deputies was cut back and now it was just Will and Harvey (there actually was another who was out of town but they cut his scenes out which explains why the guy in the bar says to Will he only has two deputies now). You may go through years of peace time (WW1 to WW2 for example) but you always need to be vigilant against potential threats.

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GEEZ!!!! You're going to make me do this, aren't you Frankie G.? You're going to make me watch "HIGH NOON" aint'cha?

You're going to make me watch this movie and weigh in on the conversation, aren't you...AREN'T YOU???!!!!!!!!!

 

You dad-blasted {delete - delete - delete} you!! Argggggh!!!!!!!!

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> {quote:title=coopsgirl wrote:}{quote}

> In the doc on the latest *HN* dvd release, somebody points out how the Mexican woman character rides off into the sunset unharmed when typically that type of character would have died probably taking a bullet for her man. I havent seen too many Westerns (other than Garys and some of Stanwycks) but I guess must have happened sometimes. Usually it was the white characters who had the most moral virtue and were the heroes

 

I would say that's a good point. It was certainly the case with Gilbert Roland's character in The Furies - poor Barbara Stanwyck got stuck with Wendell Corey instead. ;)

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Now you're tempting me to go into this further! :D That is a much easier scenario, I think,

in which to take a stand for one's beliefs. FrankGrimes implies that one shouldn't choose

one's "belief system" (his words) over your marriage partner. I think he feels this, in a way,

invalidates those very beliefs. In other words, what good are they if they drive a wedge between

a man and his mate? I think he is right in the context of the film because I think Amy is

hiding a little behind her beliefs. FrankGrimes seems also to think all people do this to a

certain degree, and I completely disagree.

 

I can understand Frank's viewpoint about one's belief system going hand in hand with one's love of a spouse.... and I do see this in the movie. I think that is what makes the movie work. If Will were a hoodlum, Amy would not be able to let go of her beliefs, I think.....

 

Many have lost (gave up, sacrificed) all they had, including their mates, their parents (I did

this) and children over their committment to their beliefs. Isn't that what men do when they go to

war? They choose their beliefs over their wives and children. It's the same issue. But I don't want

to start WW III here so I'll finish by saying that I think instinct took over in Amy at the critical

moment when she saw her husband was about to be killed. You could argue she killed in

"self defense" because he was, technically, now one with her. In such a situation I think

it is at least understandable and I might even do the same thing, right or wrong, just as

I might if it were my child being threatened. If Will were an outlaw...well, maybe you should

see Man of the West, Wendy. But that's another discussion. :)

 

I think you are right about Amy's instinct taking over, and I agree with Frank's sentence "Are you all in, or not?" Amy is all in. Do you think what swayed her is not just that Will is her man, but that standing up for him is the right thing to do? Or do you think she simply had had enough of her happiness being killed, and she struck, like a lioness? If it's the first, then she is trying to live by her principles, even if the specifics look like they go against those very principles. She must pick which is the _more_ moral thing to do. That is why it takes her so long to come to a decision. If it is the second scenario, then I think that High Noon makes a very apt statement about violence begetting violence...if even Amy can be persuaded to kill.......

 

Isn't it interesting that every single person in the movie has to make a decision based on their convictions or lack thereof? I can't remember another movie in which every character must make a decision.

 

And *Frank*, what makes Amy's decision to drop her beliefs to protect Will so wonderful? What makes it any different from the rest of the townspeople running away to protect their families? I think the answer is that Amy knows what is right and tries to do it, no matter what cost to her. The townspeople know what is right, and run to avoid having to make the decision. They can't take the cost to themselves. Unfortunately, by running, they ARE paying a cost, and making a decision.

 

One more thing about Helen. I think Helen knows what is right, and sees others abandoning it. She already knows the worst in human nature, and has paid the cost. She's lost Will already. She decides that what is right and wrong doesn't matter anymore, because good people will die. She knows the cost and has always seen it. But she is not chosen to fight for Will, he doesn't want her to. She would fight for her man, no matter what side he was on, for love, not principle. Principles don't matter in love.

 

Coopsgirl -

 

I loved what you wrote just now even more than the previous post! I am now completely torn about Harvey.... in one way I agree with MissG that he is worse than anyone else, because he has a great deal of power to stand up for Will, but doesn't out of simple boyish spite and greed..... and yet when you say that he does care for Will, I believe that too. This movie is pretty great when you can see complexity like that in every character.

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>

> I can understand Frank's viewpoint about one's belief system going hand in hand with one's love of a spouse.... and I do see this in the movie. I think that is what makes the movie work. If Will were a hoodlum, Amy would not be able to let go of her beliefs, I think.....

>

 

Believe it or not, so do I, personally speaking. I also don't think Amy's religion counsels

her to go against her husband (it probably does counsel against marrying out of the faith,

what you want to bet? :D ) when he's only doing his job. THat's why I don't believe she's

really basing her actions on her "beliefs" but on fear. She's afraid of his getting killed and

she's angry to suddenly find herself, on the brink of bliss, back again in the harrowing

predicament of losing a man she loves because he is taking up a gun to "do what is right."

 

Let's not forget that she even said to Helen "I don't care who's right and who's wrong!" So

it is not really about beliefs or principals with her. She's just afraid, quite naturally, that

the past is going to repeat itself and she's to become a widow before she can really be

a wife.

 

Interestingly, in another discussion, Tom Destry in Destry Rides Again also takes great

lengths to avoid the kind of violence that robbed him of a loved one, only to be forced

into the same situation. This just occurred to me. Hmmm....

 

>

> Do you think what swayed her is not just that Will is her man, but that standing up for him is the right thing to do? Or do you think she simply had had enough of her happiness being killed, and she struck, like a lioness? If it's the first, then she is trying to live by her principles, even if the specifics look like they go against those very principles. She must pick which is the _more_ moral thing to do. That is why it takes her so long to come to a decision. If it is the second scenario, then I think that High Noon makes a very apt statement about violence begetting violence...if even Amy can be persuaded to kill.......

>

 

I tend to lean toward her instinctively looking to save her man no matter what it takes, including

using the tool she loathes the most, a gun, to do it.

 

I do like what Shiftless had to say about how Will would always remember that she did this,

and that it would make him adore her even more. I can see that.

 

> Isn't it interesting that every single person in the movie has to make a decision based on their convictions or lack thereof? I can't remember another movie in which every character must make a decision.

>

 

Yes! I love that. No segment of a community was left un-implicated (is that word? :D )

 

 

>

> One more thing about Helen. I think Helen knows what is right, and sees others abandoning it. She already knows the worst in human nature, and has paid the cost. She's lost Will already. She decides that what is right and wrong doesn't matter anymore, because good people will die. She knows the cost and has always seen it. But she is not chosen to fight for Will, he doesn't want her to. She would fight for her man, no matter what side he was on, for love, not principle. Principles don't matter in love.

>

 

Oh, that's fantastic. That's the best yet I've read explaining her motivation or feelings when

leaving.

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ha! It just occurred to me that both the women in Will's life got so mad at him for

not behaving the way they wanted him to. Poor guy couldn't do anything to please them, lol!!

 

So maybe women can be a little difficult sometimes? Noooo......

 

Message was edited by: MissGoddess

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> {quote:title=MissGoddess wrote:}{quote}

> ha! It just occurred to me that both the women in Will's life got so mad at him for

> not behaving the way they wanted him to. Poor guy couldn't do anything to please them, lol!!

>

> So maybe women can be a little difficult sometimes? Noooo......

 

This is where I really empathize ....... and I'm sure my husband would have something to say about it too. He feels like Will a LOT.

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> {quote:title=MissGoddess wrote:}{quote}

 

> Let's not forget that she even said to Helen "I don't care who's right and who's wrong!" So

> it is not really about beliefs or principals with her. She's just afraid, quite naturally, that

> the past is going to repeat itself and she's to become a widow before she can really be

> a wife.

 

That's very true, so I guess it comes down to (aaccckkkk) what Frank said about picking someone who in your heart of hearts you know is good, and who you know will do the right thing. Amy picked Will for the very reason she is mad at him. Again, I can truly empathize here. :)

 

> Interestingly, in another discussion, Tom Destry in Destry Rides Again also takes great

> lengths to avoid the kind of violence that robbed him of a loved one, only to be forced

> into the same situation. This just occurred to me. Hmmm....

 

Awwww! As I was reading your comments about Ford, I was thinking the exact same thing.... but I didn't post it quick enough! You beat me to it!

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