Cited by President Bill Clinton as his favorite movie, High Noon is arguably the perfect distillation of the Western’s ability to define what is good, what is bad, and pit them against each other in a final gun-blazing showdown. Gary Cooper won an Oscar for playing the no-nonsense Sheriff of a small Western town who refuses to leave when he discovers that a violent gang of outlaws is arriving at noon the next day. Featuring Grace Kelly as Cooper’s new bride, High Noon investigates what it takes to be a good man in a bad world, and if such a thing is even possible (spoiler alert: it is).
Sadly, such a message is probably more timely now than it was in the 1950s, which is why the film continues to resonate even today. And hot take: Die Hard is High Noon in a skyscraper, and I say that with all the love in my heart.