Although not a shot-by-shot reproduction like Gus Van Sant's PSYCHO (1998), this TV retread of the classic Western never establishes an identity of its own. On the day of his marriage to Quaker bride Amy (Susanna Thompson), veteran marshal Will Kane (Tom Skerritt) gets jolting news. Frank Miller (Michael Madsen), a killer he captured and helped convict, has been pardoned. The gathering of Miller's old gang at the Hadleyville train depot could be the first step in Miller's plan to exact payback. The good people of Hadleyville urge Kane to vamoose: Amy doesn't believe in gunplay on religious grounds, the local merchants don't want trouble in their streets and when Kane tries to raise a posse, he meets a wall of resistance. Because there's a new sheriff arriving the following day Kane has officially retired, Deputy Harvey Pell (Reed Diamond), who was passed over for promotion, wants to impress the Hadleyville citizenry. Even Helen Ramirez (Maria Conchita Alonso), who was Kane's lover before she transferred her affections to Miller, has no faith in Kane's chances of survival. The clock ticks inexorably toward high noon, when Miller's train will arrive. At the church, Kane can't persuade parishioners to pitch in; even the loyal Cleaver brothers abandon Kane's crusade when they learn that Miller is traveling with two professional gunslingers. And yet Kane can't abandon the town he helped civilize; a man defined by duty to his job, he single-handedly faces Miller and his desperadoes. Pacifist Amy leaves her new husband on principle and leaves Hadleyville without him, but at the 11th hour she rushes to the showdown: Can Kane outdraw a psychotic killer and six killers determined to cut him down? Remember the taut editing, the masterfully inserted extreme close-ups of the clock, and the haunting theme song of the original film? All those memorable flourishes are gone, leaving only standardized sagebrush conflicts shorn of complexity. The echoes of its progenitor are the best thing about this muffled remake.
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- Released: 2000
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: Although not a shot-by-shot reproduction like Gus Van Sant's PSYCHO (1998), this TV retread of the classic Western never establishes an identity of its own. On the day of his marriage to Quaker bride Amy (Susanna Thompson), veteran marshal Will Kane (Tom S… (more)