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Yellow Sky back to product details

Damned-Good, Little-Known Western
written by talltale July 30, 2006 - 12:59 PM PDT
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
The less you learn in advance about the plot or the characters in YELLOW SKY, the better time you will have watching this particularly good 1948 western, directed by William Wellman and written by Lamar Trotti. I knew zero, except for its notable cast, and so was surprised and gripped from the moment an intriguing group of horsemen stop to chat in the middle of nowhere. They proceed to town, where they have a drink in the local bar, and then....

The movie grabs you immediately because of its simplicity, believable and sparse dialog, and very good performances and photography. Adult in its notions about everything from love and sex to greed and trust, it understands what people sometimes must do in order to negotiate all four. Watching the film now, in all its subtlety and moderation, is to realize that, while movies have gained enormously as times and customs have changed and restrictions fallen away, much has also been lost. The finale--which today would have gone on for an ungodly length and probably featured buckets of blood--is an absolute model of restraint, and all the more pleasurable because of it.

In addition to Gregory Peck, Anne Baxter (as good and as beautiful as she's ever been) and Richard Widmark, the movie features an excellent supporting cast, inclduing one of cinema's most handsome nearly-leading men: John Russell. Though he lived to 70 and made (coincidentally) 70 appearances in film and on TV, Russell never quite made it past "B" movie status. Our loss, since he was a good actor--and quite the hunk. In his shirtless scenes with Peck, he's shows off a body that leaves the latter's in the dust.


(Average 6.55)
11 Votes
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