The film tells a story about a man who was too proud to run— a tale of a lone, stoic marshal (Will Kane) who was left desolate and abandoned by the townspeople he has sworn to protect because of a four-man gang led by Frank Miller. This is where the loyalty part comes in. Kane did not have to stay and protect the town’s people because he was “retired” and was going to leave town with his wife. Nonetheless he did stay because he felt that it was his duty to protect the townspeople even though no one would volunteer and help him. His wife, Amy along with the some townspeople tells him to leave town immediately to save his life. They tell him that he is no longer the marshal of the town, therefore not his fight. Kane disregarded what everyone told him and stayed to protect the townspeople. This is because of his great sense of duty that would not let him allow others (the innocent townspeople) to risk their lives over something that he feels is his responsibility. The fact that Kane was so willing to risk his new life and live happily ever after with his wife for the town’s safety shows his loyalty to the town and its safety.
Betrayal is another theme for High Noon. In the movie, as noon approaches the people of the town, they abandon Kane one by one. They are too afraid to fight; and they are not tough enough to do it out of loyalty. Instead they leave Kane alone. Thus when noon finally arrives, Kane is carrying the weight of those who abandoned him in their time of need. Kane is then protecting those who betrayed him. Unlike Kane, the others (townspeople) seem to only care about themselves— very inhuman. Many of the locals are agreed that they owe their prosperity to Kane, but they will not help him of defend him. They believe that Kane’s cause is hopeless because he was going to face a four-man gang alone. Although, a part of the town’s betrayal is part of Kane’s fault. I think it is his character that keeps him from getting help—the reason for the town‘s betrayal. He turned down help from several people who are too young or too incompetent to face the gunmen. He asks, but does not demand others to stand with him. Even though his new bride threatens to leave him if he stays, Kane would not leave. All this for an undeserving and ungrateful town. The way Kane treats the townspeople, it is almost saying, “I do not need your assistance, please step back and protect yourselves.” Who would risk their life after hearing that?
A scene in the movie, where Kane stops to care for a few horses before caring for his, shows that Kane is kindhearted—showing loyalty. In the movie, where all the townspeople had an excuse for not helping Kane showed betrayal. In various ways, the themes loyalty and betray was shown throughout the whole movie.