Yellow Sky

1948

Crime / Western

0
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 80%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 4472

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 23, 2021 at 01:45 AM

Cast

Gregory Peck as James 'Stretch' Dawson
Anne Baxter as Constance Mae 'Mike'
Harry Morgan as Half Pint
720p.BLU
906.56 MB
956*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jpdoherty 7 / 10

Well Done Wellman !

YELLOW SKY (1949) is one of the great westerns of the forties and beyond. A 20th Century Fox movie in glorious black & white - that came at the end of the decade just before the studio embarked on the production of their wonderful ground breaking Cinemascope/Color westerns in the fifties such as "Garden Of Evil", "Broken Lance", "The Last Wagon", "The Bravados" etc. From a good story by W.R.Burnett it was directed with a deft hand by William Wellman and of the half dozen or so westerns he worked on is his best attempt at the genre. Wellman was no Ford or Hawks but with the help of an excellent script by Lamar Trotti, a terrific cast and stunning stark cinematography by genius Joe McDonald he managed to make YELLOW SKY into a taut, exciting and memorable motion picture.

Heading the cast is the always reliable Gregory Peck as the authoritative no-nonsense leader of an outlaw gang of misfits who arrive in the ghost town of Yellow Sky after robbing a bank and making their escape from a cavalry troop across the sun-parched salt flats of Death Valley ("let them go - saves us hanging them"). Here they encounter an old prospector (James Barton) and his granddaughter (Anne Baxter). The gang on learning they have gold stashed away devise a plan to take it from them culminating in a tense shootout between members of the gang and Peck, who by this time, has taken sides with the old man and the girl.

Performances are superb from all concerned. Peck gives one of his usual stalwart portrayals. Richard Widmark, in his first western is superb as the slimy, crafty double crosser. Also excellent is John Russell as the womanizing gang member ("Now ma'am, you wouldn't shoot a fine young handsome fella like me, would ye?"). Good too is Henry Morgan, the young Robert Arthur and especially Charles Kemper as the overweight member of the group trying to trade his canteen full of whiskey for a mouthful of water while crossing the desert and not getting any takers.(Peck giving Kemper's horse some water instead declares "a horse is a useful animal - no point in having it suffer because its owner is a Jackass"). The picture is also notable for an excellent cavalry chase near the opening of the movie, the remarkable trek across the salt flats (a tough time for the actors no doubt just like the characters they were playing) and the cavorting of Peck and Baxter in a corral at night which when viewed today must seem a tad steamy for 1949. Unforgivable however is the omission of a musical score of any kind which was a batty policy of Fox during this period, particularly regarding westerns. Alfred Newman reuses his standard Fox western Main Title music, which he originally composed in 1940 for "Brigham Young", and the same for the ending. But there are some scenes in YELLOW SKY that are just crying out for some music especially those for the salt flats sequence and the night stalking scene near the end where a lack of tension is quite evident.

However YELLOW SKY is still an imaginative classic thriller of a western that rewards repeated viewings and should be in every western collection. ANOTHER FOX WINNER!

Reviewed by sinnersaintenemas-1 9 / 10

Yellow Sky (1948)

Made roughly at the time of release of the more highly acclaimed "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," Yellow Sky never got the attention as 'Treasure...' did. In fact, for the most part it has been ignored completely, and wrongfully so. Brilliantly directed by William Wellman, along with very honest camera angles. We see all sides of the actors, not just their supposed "good sides". The cast, including Gregory Peck, Anne Baxter and Richard Widmark, all come together perfectly in highly unique fashion, and that includes everyone from Peck and Baxter all the way down to Charles Kemper and John Russell. The plot, like 'Treasure...' is about the greed for gold and the central characters' inability to trust one another because of it. Yet Yellow Sky somehow adds more to the equation, in my opinion. To me, the characters have, if not more depth, more identifiable depth for sure. The real standout, though, if there is one, is Baxter as 'Mike'. There are times in this film that she doesn't say a word and yet you can tell exactly what Mike is thinking or feeling at the time. The character's innocent confusion on what to do, what not to do, what to let happen and what not to let happen is extraordinarily acted. Emotions as intense as this portrayed successfully on screen is one of the main reasons I love films as much as I do. This is not to say, however, that there is any over-dramaticism in this film. There isn't any at all, and Yellow Sky is all the better for it. The Score, what there is of it, is magnificent in itself. First we hear a main theme at the startup, then nothing until the middle of the film when we hear a more romantic theme. First sung by Charles Kemper's 'Walrus', then on a harmonica, and later on in full musical form. It is rather subtle and not loudly played, but again, that's one of the many beauties of this film, nothing is overdone.

On another note, the DVD that FOX released this year contains the original trailer and a perfect showing of the film.

Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend 9 / 10

Stay away from my men, and stop swinging those damn hips all over the place.

Stretch is the leader of bank robbing desperadoes, after their latest job they find the US Cavalry hot on their tail. Their only conceivable route of escape is to traipse over an enormous salt flat, low on water and bitten by the scorching sun, they happen to come across a ghost town named Yellow Sky. Here was once a prosperous town, now the only inhabitants are a crusty old prospector and his tomboy granddaughter. Soon the talk turns to hidden gold and it's not long before these desperate men will become conflicted in more ways than one. Be it greed, lust or the Apache, the day of reckoning is coming to Yellow Sky.

Yellow Sky is a technically stunning picture, directed with panache by William A. Welman, boasting starkly affecting black and white photography from Joseph MacDonald, and utilising the wonderful use of natural sounds. This picture is to me one of the shining lights of 1940s Westerns. Once the pulse racing pursuit of the robbers by the US Cavalry has finished, the film shifts into a master class of visual and dialogue driven delights. As the gang trundle across the desolate salt flat, the need for quenching the thirst hits the audience as much as it does the gang; I myself found that I was swigging rapidly from my cold can of beer! The Alabama Hills location is a sprawling, beautiful, never ending ode to the West, and then the actors kick in and do their stuff, and then some.

Gregory Peck plays the leader Stretch, an actor normally associated with a straight laced gait, here he is is weather worn and tired, his portrayal of Stretch as convincing as a role I have seen him tackle. Richard Widmark, in what I believe to be his first Western entry, is truly magnetic, a smirking, snarling Dude that you just know you couldn't trust if your life depended on it. Anne Baxter plays the sole female character of the piece (Mike), and she is pivotal to the whole film's strength, tough and full of spunk, her grasping of the situation in amongst these ragged men gives the piece it's time bomb ethic, and boy does Baxter do well with it.

All told there's no weakness' in the casting, they all do good work, and although the plot structure of the film is nothing out of the ordinary, the technical aspects coupled with the excellent writing on the page (W.R. Burnett story, Lamar Trotti screenplay) lift it way above many of its contemporaries. The ending has caused some consternation amongst Western critics over the years, and if I'm honest then it's not totally satisfactory to me personally, but it is in no way what so ever a bad ending, you just feel that the mood that had preceded it deserved something better. But as ever, it's up to the individual viewer to decide for themselves. 9/10

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