Just a reminder that seven and a half years ago HE was the first and only Hollywood column to post a fixed version of the climactic “noon train is approaching” High Noon montage in Fred Zinnemann and Stanley Kramer‘s High Noon (’52).

On 12.2.15 I posted Matthew Morretini‘s version of the montage, which is more metronomically correct than the original 1952 version, which was assembled by editor Elmo Williams.

“The famous High Noon tick-tock sequence has always bothered me slightly,” I wrote. “It was edited to match Dimitri Tiomkin‘s music, and so every cut was supposed to happen at the precise instant of the final beat…except it doesn’t quite do that. Today editor Matthew Morettini wrote to say the reason for my slight irritation is that the picture is four frames ahead of the music.

“But now Morettini has fixed it.

“‘I’m a professional editor and had a few minutes on my hands today and re-synced the clip the way I always felt it should be,’ Morettini wrote. “And guess what? It’s better. Each and every picture edit was exactly four frames early.”

Compare the Morettini version (top) to the Elmo Williams version (below) — the proof is in the pudding.

Matthew Morettini 2015 version:

Elmo Williams 1952 version:

Boilerplate commentary: Rio Bravo (’59) and High Noon (’52) don’t share a “general genre” as much as they share a fairly specific plot/situation, which is an honest lawman (or lawmen) preparing to do battle with a gang of bad guys who will soon arrive in town and are out for blood revenge.

The films, in fact, are pretty much peas in a pod. Rio Bravo was in fact dreamt up as a response to what director Howard Hawks and star John Wayne saw as the pessimism and wimpishness of Will Kane, the resolute small-town sheriff played by Gary Cooper.

Both films are about a community’s response to the threat of lawnessness and violence, and about the lawman’s (or lawmen’s) code of honor and self-respect.

In Rio Bravo‘s case, the chief villain is Nathan Burdette. In the matter of High Noon, it’s a recently sprung prison convict named Frank Miller.

Rio Bravo is more optimistic or positive-minded in that the community (Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Walter Brennan, Angie Dickinson) bands together to fight the baddies; in High Noon the community hides or equivocates or otherwise declines to help Kane form a posse so they can meet Miller and his three gunnies head on. They all say no for their own reasons, and Kane is forced to stand up to the gang all alone.