Brookings’ own Academy Award winner and Hollywood legend Elmo Williams will host the 22nd and final two lecture/screening presentations Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 3 and 4, at the Chetco Playhouse.
The presentation will feature the 1952 classic Western film “High Noon” as well as musical entertainment and a gunfight skit by a group – Shirley Hyatt, Jan Kaplan, Lon Goddard, Rudy Glen, Saun Stone, John Boye, Steve Seney and John Marshall – calling itself The Guns of the Pioneers.
Williams won an Oscar for Best Editing of a Motion Picture, which will be displayed at the screening, and will reveal the behind-the-scenes story of how the historic film was made and how he came to edit it.
“ ‘High Noon’ has been a talisman for me. It has been cropping up in my life since I first heard the story in 1950,” the 98-year-old Williams said. “ ‘High Noon’ is considered a Western Classic. In my opinion, it is Gary Cooper’s best film and it gave Grace Kelly her first good role.
“Certainly, it’s been good to me. It’s earned me an Academy Award and a lot of good publicity. I’ve lectured about it in many universities where the production of motion pictures is taught. It will give me pleasure to again share some of my memories of ‘High Noon.’ It is just one of many films that I've discussed with the good people of Brookings and other friends who have dropped by over the years.
“When this weekend is over, I think I’ll saddle up old Pete and ride off into the sunset. All good Westerns end that way. It’s been fun.”
“High Noon,” originally expected to fail by United Artists, rose to become one of the respected Westerns ever made and was selected in 1989 for preservation in the Library of Congress by the United States Film Registry for being “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant.”
The movie stars Cooper, Kelly, Lloyd Bridges, Lee Van Cleef, Thomas Mitchell, Lon Chaney Jr., Harry Morgan and Jack Elam.
The movie tells the story of newly married and aging Hadleyville sheriff Will Kane (Cooper), who suddenly finds himself the only one in his small town left to protect its cowardly citizens from a vengeful killer due to arrive on the noon train. Already set for his retirement, Kane's new wife (Kelly) gives her husband an ultimatum: she is leaving on the noon train, with or without him.
The shows are presented by the Chetco Pelican Players and co-hosted by Goddard, who said about this being Williams’ last presentation: “I will miss co-hosting the shows with this great man, whom I am proud to call my friend. He is so right, they have been fun, and a great deal more than that.
The presentations will be at the Chetco Playhouse, 1240 Chetco Ave., Brookings. Showtimes will be 7 p.m. Saturday, with doors opening at 6:15, and Sunday, at 2 p.m., with doors opening at 1:15.
Tickets are $15, which includes free champagne and cowboy snacks and appetizers presented by Claire Willard. Tickets are available at The Salty Dog Coffee Bar, Chetco Pharmacy and Gifts, Wright’s Custom Framing and Art Supplies, New Wave Video and at the door, subject to availability. No reservations will be taken for these shows, so tickets must be purchased from the outlets or at the door.
Those attending are invited to don cowboy/cowgirl attire.