Here is director Fred Zinnemann describing the above shot from HIGH NOON.

” This shot conveyed the total isolation of the man. Obviously no one wants any part of him – every door and window is closed.
In order to achieve that feeling,I needed to have as small a figure as possible and as large a frame. This was long before there were zoom lenses, and to do a shot like that, you needed a crane.
It was simply a question of having Gary Cooper in close shot,looking dubious about life, and then turning around and starting to walk. And as he walked we moved away from him.
You couldnt have got that with a zoom.
You need 3 or 4 pivotal points in a film where the action comes to some sort of climax. Sometimes you spend hours thinking about something,not getting anywhere, and suddenly,next morning in the shower,there it is.
That’s the way I thought about this shot.”

Fred Zinneman,, Gary Cooper.

Fred Zinnemann, Gary Cooper.

3 responses »

  1. And it is such an effective shot in the movie. The film has been talked about and analyzed within an inch of its life yet it remains such a compelling piece of cinema.

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