"High Noon" - perhaps the film for which Cooper is best remembered and arguably the best Western ever made.
Coop won his second Oscar as Best Actor for his role as Marshal Will Kane, honest lawman fighting for his principles against all odds.
On the morning of his wedding to Amy (Grace Kelly), Will Kane is hanging up his badge and leaving the prairie town he had worked so hard to make peaceful and safe. But news arrives that a killer Kane had sent to prison, Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald), has been pardoned and is arriving on the noon train to seek revenge. Miller's three gunmen are already at the train station, waiting to join up with him.
Kane initially allows the citizens of Hadleyville to rush him and his bride on their way out of town, believing their claims that it is for his own safety. But when Kane realizes he must return or be hunted the rest of his life, he soon finds that it is only themselves the townspeople are concerned about.
At first confident that he will be able to enlist support from his friends, Kane finds that one by one they all turn away from him - Judge Mettrick (Otto Kruger) who is fleeing from Miller himself ("This is just a dirty little town in the middle of nowhere - get out while you still can."); working man Herb ("I'm no lawman, I just live here - I've got a wife and kids."); proud Helen Ramirez (Katy Jurado), former flame of Miller's who fears retaliation because of her brief affair with Kane; Harvey (Lloyd Bridges), Kane's chief deputy, whose petty jealousy explodes into violence; even Amy, whose Quaker principles make any thought of a conflict abhorrent, does not understand her new husband's determination to face a showdown.
is reduced to going door-to-door seeking help, citizens waste precious
time debating the pros and cons of coming to their Marshal's aid. But
when the noon train whistle sounds and the arrival of the gunmen is imminent,
it is Kane and Kane alone who must confront his ultimate fate.