[quote=“scherpschutter, post:13, topic:560”]This ‘starting premise’ about ‘what if the sheriff from High Noon etc’ is completely new to me, I had never heard about it before.
That high Noon was an influence, seems clear to me. In a article, Don Graham, an American professor of English from Austin, calls High plains drifter ‘the High Noon-style western that outdoes its predecessor in contempt for the community’[/quote]
I checked where I had read this idea and found it in Jim Kitses’ book, Horizons West. In the chapter on Eastwood he discusses all his films as director and in the opening preamble he touches on High Plains Drifter. He starts with mention of Eastwood’s running theme of ‘uncivil justice’ and then goes on to mention the film’s roots in High Noon. A film Howard Hawks had already revisited with Rio Bravo.
“Infuriated by that film for making a supplicant of the western hero, Howard Hawks had replied with the robust Rio Bravo. But in their own analysis, Eastwood and his screenwriter Ernest Tidyman would take as its starting point the posing of the question: what if Gary Cooper’s Marshall Kane had not been ‘good enough’ in Hawks’ parlance, had in fact been whipped to death as the town looked on? Enter Eastwood as a ghost, a god or a reincarnation - in any case a superhero - to provide a cosmic justice, a shadow-figure to redeem and avenge the fallible, human martyr.”