Fred Zinnemann’s High Noon is regarded as a classic of the western genre. However, the director Howard Hawks was so appalled by its negativity that he made a ‘response’ movie- 1959’s Rio Bravo. Whereas the sheriff in High Noon is abandoned by the townspeople, John Wayne has a willing entourage of unlikely supporters.
It is the characters of his three main allies which give the movie its enduring appeal.
The delightful Walter Brennan plays Stumpy- a grumpy elderly deputy .
Legendary crooner Dean Martin (who’s overriding ambition was to be a success as a screen western hero) plays Dude- the town drunk who redeems himself heroically.
Teen idol Ricky Nelson puts in an appearance as Colorado Ryan , a young gunslinger. Hawks was dubious about using him on account of his youth, but his pull at the box office was such that his inclusion alone would guarantee the movie’s success.