Yellow Sky Reviews
(1948) Yellow Sky
One thing I notice upon watching any of the current Western films of today as opposed to the Western films of yester year lack one of three things. The first is the budget. The second is the consistency. And finally, and third point is that it would have to be the originality. And for some strange reason, acting is much more "crucial" for Westerns back then than films about current life since the way people talked during those days was much different then, therefore the director have to convince us that they're really from back then because sometimes there are times the interactions sounds pretentious. If there's any reason why there isn't as many fans of Western films these days it would have to consist one of those reasons.
Made in 1948 and the Western genre was still popular. One of the things I tend to look forward to upon checking some of these Western classics is whether or not it can garner my ability to think. And as a result, it's like a Western novel that haven't been done as a movie before. Adapted from the story written by W.R. Burnett, it stars Gregory Peck as James 'Stretch' Dawson leading his gang of 6 bank robbers to a robbery of a small town. He also happens to take the position as leader, and upon escaping on horseback from the cavalry, one of them got shot and killed to the ground. And by the time they manage to reach the hot desert, it was during that time is when the cavalry finally gave up chase. Once Stretch notices that, he immediately decides to divide up the loot, allowing them the choice to ride back since some were reluctant to travel across. After travelling many miles, they manage to reach to a small ghost town called "Yellow Sky" hence the title. Once there, they start to notice that it's not totally isolated as it's inhabited by the only two people living there, is an grouchy old man (James Barton) and his feisty tomboy-like daughter, named Mike (Anne Baxter). The drama and conflict begins as this so-called ghost town carries itself some dark secrets of it's own, creating conflict amongst the men. Richard Widmark, Robert Arthur, John Russell, Charles Kemper, and Harry Morgan of 'MASH' also stars. Gorgeous locations, great acting directed by a well renown director, by the name of William A Wellman makes this one a winner.
3 out of 4 stars
In contrast to the beautiful scenery, 'Yellow Sky' is a dark and gritty film. I haven't seen many westerns that felt this agonizingly realistic. And I mean that in the best way possible. The scorching sun, the dirt, the grime, and the sweet serenity that is fresh water.
This is a vicious, and cold-hearted film. Some of the violence, and behavior of some of the characters made me feel uneasy, and that is saying something. The brutal honesty in the way the film portrays the the gang is wonderful.
Some might have a problem with the way this story wraps up, as it's a departure from the darkness that shrouds the rest of the film. I loved the whole film, even though the ending feels like something the studio might have tacked on. It works well. Overall, this is one of my favorite westerns from the 40's, and a new overall favorite as well.