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Black Noon (1971)

The 1970’s were Peak Made for TV Movies, and they tended to fall within three camps:
You had the good – Brian’s Song, a true story about the death of the Chicago Bears football player, Gayle Sayers – the one movie that made every man on the planet cry before Spock’s death in the Wrath of Khan came along.
You had the hidden potential – Duel, a young Steven Spielberg’s first foray into full length film that pitted ol’ Marshall McCloud himself, Dennis Weaver, against a homicidal big rig driver who just will. Not. Die.
You had the springboard – Shows such as The Night Stalker and Columbo came from Made for TV movies.

Then you have this month’s movie – Black Noon.
Starring Roy Thinnes, he of The Invaders fame, a young Yvette Mimeux, a porn-stached Henry Silva, and old Hollywood stalwarts Ray Milland and Gloria Grahame, it has all the trappings of a standard Western – An earnest Preacher Man prone to temptation, a beautiful woman in peril, a menacing gunslinger, and of course, a town beset upon by the previously mentioned gunslinger – but – BUT – not all is as it seems.

Let’s throw a little black magic and voodoo into the mix, shall we?

The Episode

The Review

When it comes to reviews, it seems that “Black Noon” suffers from an extreme lack of interest or attention, which is probably the case for 99% of all Made For TV Movies.

They were made to be shown on a certain night, made to star or showcase certain actors, and made fast to make the network money.
“Black Noon” isn’t the worst one out there; it has a nice twist ending, which tends to make me think that it was based on a short story.

I think this would have worked better in black and white, as well.
It could have the same look and feel of the old Eerie or Creepy black and white Warren magazines, which would have amplified the effect ten fold.
Also, another pass by the screenwriter and composer for some editing and character expansion would have helped as well, to tone down the hysteria and making the music do the heavy lifting that the dialogue and action should be doing.

It ain’t awful, but it ain’t good.

I looked forward to Black Noon as it had had some reasonable write-ups in various places. Unfortunately, after seeing the eventual work I ended up disappointed. The film seemed to take forever to arrive at its horror elements. Right up until the end, all we get is Roy Thinnes having nightmares of being pursued by a man covered in blood and cutaways to Yvette Mimieux in her shed poking pins into voodoo dolls. It is not very clear where all of it is going.

The Links

Watch “Black Noon” for free on YouTube

“Black Noon” over at IMDBand Wikipedia

“Black Noon” over at All Movie

A review of “Black Noon” over at Daily Dead

A really good review of Black Noon over at Moria Reviews

The Credits

I am very grateful to be able to use the music and sound effects of so many wonderful creators.
You can find a list of all music used, and all sound effects used, and links, here, on our Credits page.

The Pitch

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