21 August 2000 | dale_durnell
Poor Substitute for the Original
Sometimes, a remake can be as good, or better than an original. The 1997 version of Titanic was award winning and the 1998 remake of Les Miserables was outstanding. But, I'm sorry to say that's not so with the TBS, made for television, version of High Noon.
Alright, so I grew up on the original -- but, it's still a classic!
I will admit that in the remake, some of the characters played their roles admirably: Tom Skerritt portrayed a viable Will Kane and Maria Conchita Alonso was superior as Mrs. Ramirez. Even Dennis Weaver was credible as Martin Howe, but I never felt for him and his circumstances the way I felt for Lon Chaney Jr. in the 1952 version. In fact, throughout the entire program, I never got to where I really cared for the characters as I did in the original.
Advance P.R. in the television guides said that the producers wanted a more "vicious" villain, and so cast Michael Madsen as Frank Miller. But, Madsen looks and acts more like Broderick Crawford in "The Highway Patrol" TV series than a villain in the old west. His twin nickel (or chrome) plated Remington revolvers did nothing to enhance the role for him.
In the 1952 version, Fred Zinnemann used a crane to back off and show the loneliness of Kane as he goes about the task before him. The director of the 2000 remake tries to do the same thing, but the effect is no where as dramatic. Something is missing.
In the final scene in the 1952 original, you can see Kane's contempt for the town on the face of Gary Cooper -- contempt for having been left alone, and abandoned. That emotion was totally lacking in the remake and so the ending is almost anti-climactic.