The opening theme and credits of High Noon play over actions whose exact meanings are unknown.
The first man to appear looks menacing, and his expressions inflect the arrival of the second man with a sense of impending action. This is further heightened by the arrival of the third man. Though we can’t hear their words, whatever they are talking about something gets them up on their horses and riding somewhere together.
Even a first-time viewer might have a sense of what is about to unfold (the theme-song lyrics offer ideas). Still, this beginning charges the film with questions. Before we’ve heard even a word of dialogue, we ask, “What is about to happen?” and “How will things play out for these three?”
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