I have to admit, even though I have no desire to be one of those “real life superheroes”, the Batman motorcycle wear is pretty darn tempting. Although the arm spikes might be bad if I actually fell off …! Maybe I should consider the Bruce Wayne jacket instead.
That reminds me. One of my favorite westerns is “High Noon” starring Gary Cooper. It’s about a marshal who is getting ready to retire and marry a sweet little Quaker. Unfortunately, some unfinished business rears its ugly head (as it is wont to do) and the marshal must defend his town from deadly enemies. I love that flick. Not just because of the cowardly and fickle townsfolk. Not just because of the chance to see young versions of Harry Morgan, Lloyd Bridges, Lee Van Cleef, and Jack Elam. Not just because it has the divine Grace Kelly. Not just because the melancholic strains “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling” haunt the film like a spectre of lost morality. And not just because it is an allegory for the blacklisting which was occurring in Hollywood at the time (although I remain amused that John Wayne hated the movie for that reason.) No, while all of those things contribute to my love of the movie, my favorite thing about it is the fact that it takes place in real time! If ten minutes passes on your watch, it passes in the movie as well. And as noon inexorably trudges towards Hadleyville, it drags you along with it.
But I digress. The real life superheroes reminded me of “Rio Bravo” which was John Wayne’s response to “High Noon.” Like I said, he hated that movie. He felt it was unamerican. Not just the idea that a marshal would beg for help from the townspeople and attempt to let amateurs handle law enforcement, but that the entire movie was a call for people to stand up against McCarthyism and the aforementioned blacklisting.
So, from motorcycles, to Batman, to McCarthyism by way of vigilantes and westerns. Not bad, I guess.