Posted by: toddzilla | January 7, 2007

God and Gary Cooper

I love westerns.  Especially Clint Eastwood in those Italian spaghetti westerns.  They are gritty and fantastic.  I managed to catch the end of a classic this weekend…High Noon.  Its a 1952 classic that was way ahead of its time.  It didn’t have much violence and it didn’t glorify the violence that it did have.  The gunfights weren’t awe-inspiring bouts of action, but were instead ignoble and a bit awkward.  Probably very close to how they really went down in the old west.  This type of gunfight choreogrpahy would be praised much later in Eastwood’s Unforgiven…40 years later.  It’s a great movie because it’s so intense due to the lead up…plus it has a really young Lee Van Cleef!  The premise of the story is how Gary Cooper put away the really badguy “Frank Miller” and now Frank has served his time and is coming to town on the 12:00 noon train…apparently to kill Gary Cooper.  The majority of the movie involves Gary going around town and talking with everyone that he has helped over the years, trying to get a posse up to fend off bad guy Frank.  Time after time he is turned down by a very fearful town.  One that Gary, as the sheriff, saved from Frank before and he has done so much for them since.  Yet, they are so afraid of Frank Miller that they don’t believe in Gary Cooper’s character anymore.  They look beyond him and are willing to succumb to the bad guy before he evens gets to town.  In fact Cooper’s own wife (he’s a newlywed) starts to leave town on the very train that Frank Miller arrives on.

I guess I may have given too much away already, but it is a great movie and the suspense-building in the story and directing is spectacular and decades ahead of its time.  If you ever get a chance and a hankering to see an old “black and white” go for High Noon and when you’re done with it, think about Gary Cooper and God.  How many times has God pulled us out of the fire?  How good is your life, not just materially, but spiritually.  How has God blessed you?  Where has he placed you?  Who has he put by your side as far as family and friends go?  Aren’t we a lot like the townsfolk?  Hiding from Frank Miller or whatever “bad guy” may be in your life rather than trusting God to come through in the end?  God has saved us with his ultimate sacrifice before.  He won’t take the 12:00 out of town when we need him now.

Do you guys have any examples of spirituality in some of your favorite movies?  can you think of a wild religious crossover like God and Gary Cooper?  Let’s hear about it!

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