- Alternative Character Interpretation: Since we never really learn the history between Kane and Miller, and Miller is a Villain with Good Publicity in the town, some viewers come away from this movie with the impression that Kane really did send Miller to prison for unjust reasons, muddying which one of them is "in the right" during the events of the film.
- While the peoples' refusal to help Kane is contemptuous and cowardly, nowadays the refusal to get in a fight is seen in a more charitable view. After all, Miller is gunning for Kane and no one else. The only really villainous character is Pell, who tries to run Kane out so that Miller will leave the town and go for him instead.
- It could be argued Kane needlessly endangered the town by staying. He technically had already resigned as marshal, so he had no actual authority, and he could have set up a confrontation with Miller away from town.
- Award Snub: This film losing the Best Picture Oscar to Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth is regarded by many as one of the more egregious examples in Hollywood history. Many blamed it on the Academy not wanting to vote for it out of fear of coming under fire by the HUAC.
- Awesome Music: The legendary main theme, "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling".
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Helen Ramírez, not only for being a Mexican character in a mostly-American cast, but also for her strong personality, and relationship with the main hero, and being the Only Sane Woman within the careless townsfolk.
- The teenage boy who was willing to help Will Kane in his fight with Miller.
- Funny Moments: The film is light on humor but it does have a few funny moments.
- "Moving awfully fast for a Sunday."
- The scene in the barber shop. Kane wants to get cleaned up by the barber, but the coffin-maker is busy in the back of the building, and the barber desperately orders him to stop until Kane is gone.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Nowadays, viewers can get a chuckle over the ominous threat that is Frank Miller. Especially the theme song mentioning him by name and saying he'll be shot dead.
- Memetic Mutation: The Signature Scene of the camera zooming out of Will Kane standing alone on the streets.
- Narm: Due to an ominous soundtrack and dramatic close ups, Frank Miller's chair is the scariest piece of furniture in film.
- One-Scene Wonder: Jack Elam has about twenty seconds of screen time as the town drunk, Charlie, yet the character had a memorably funny moment when, on being released from the jail, he hazily asked Kane if any bars were open.
- Retroactive Recognition:
- Kane tries to recruit Colonel Potter. Not to mention Lawrence Talbot. Hopefully the outlaws weren't packing silver bullets.
- Lloyd Bridges has a small part as one of Kane's ex-deputies and went on to a major film career.
- Colby is played by Lee Van Cleef, who went on to become a famous character actor.
- Jack Elam, later probably best known as Dr. Van Helsing in The Cannonball Run, is a drunk sleeping in a jail cell.
- Stoic Woobie: Kane. He doesn't express his feelings much, and talks and acts in a very calm and collected manner, but the townspeople mistrust and reject him, and even if she doesn't want him to get killed, even his wife seems to desert him. At times even he sounds desperate and tired. By the time Miller and his gang arrive, he's completely alone.
- Tear Jerker: Kane's last deputy, Herb Baker, visits Kane in his office, asking about the posse that Kane was going to gather. Herb realizes it's just the two of them against Miller's four-man gang and makes an excuse to back out of the fight: "What about my wife and kids"? Kane sends him off, and once Herb is gone, he buries his head in his arms and finds himself on the verge of tears.
- Vindicated by History: Its short-term success in 1952 was wounded by accusations of subliminal Communism, especially due to the participation of screenwriter Carl Foreman. The next US President to take power, Dwight Eisenhower, was a Republican anti-Communist champion and the fact that he started the White House tradition of High Noon screenings definitely helped its reputation grow.
YMMV / High Noon