High Noon

LORELAI: Oh no, what’s this?

LUKE: Looks like high noon in Stars Hollow.

High Noon, 1952 Western film directed by Fred Zinnemann, and starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. The plot, which occurs in real time, focuses on a town marshal whose sense of duty is tested when he must decide whether to face a gang of killers alone, or leave town with his new wife, a Quaker pacifist.

High Noon won four Academy Awards, including a Best Actor for Gary Cooper. It is revered as an iconic film and an early example of the revisionist Western, because for most of the action it focuses on a moral and psychological dilemma, rather than on gunfights and chases, and because the marshal’s wife, Grace Kelly, plays a pivotal role at the climax. It’s one of the most influential Westerns, its ending in particular inspiring numerous films.

Luke is referring to the way the mothers of Stars Hollow line up menacingly to confront Lorelai, in the same way that the gang of killers face down Gary Cooper’s character.

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