Yellow Sky

Yellow Sky

Director: William Wellman

Cast: Gregory Peck, Anne Baxter, Richard Widmark

     
 

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William Wellman's westerns always seemed a little claustrophobic, but in Yellow Sky the director's technique works to the film's advantage. Outlaw leader Gregory Peck takes refuge in a frontier ghost town. The only inhabitants are elderly James Barton and his pretty granddaughter Anne Baxter. Barton reveals that there's gold hereabouts, prompting a few of

Overview

William Wellman's westerns always seemed a little claustrophobic, but in Yellow Sky the director's technique works to the film's advantage. Outlaw leader Gregory Peck takes refuge in a frontier ghost town. The only inhabitants are elderly James Barton and his pretty granddaughter Anne Baxter. Barton reveals that there's gold hereabouts, prompting a few of Peck's companions--especially Richard Widmark--to plot the old man's demise and claim the treasure for themselves. For his part, Peck is basically honorable, and offers to split fifty-fifty with Barton. Dissension, hostility and gunplay ensue, finally narrowing down to a standoff between Peck and Widmark. Yellow Sky was based on a novel by W.R. Burnett, who moved from westerns to gangster stories and back again with the greatest of ease.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
As Yellow Sky amply demonstrates, a film doesn't have to be either revolutionary or overly complex to be a great picture. When you look at the story elements of Sky, it's easy to think "That's all been done before." And it has -- not only because bits and pieces are taken from other Westerns but because the central "gold lust" theme has been seen in such other films as Greed and Treasure of the Sierra Madre. And screenwriter Lamar Trotti has not taken these familiar components and given them a surprising twist or used them in a new manner. Instead, he has fashioned them into a crackling good screenplay, one which believes in the sheer power of these components and knows exactly how to frame them so that they deliver that power. He's also provided memorable dialogue and clearly drawn characters; they're not necessarily deep, but they're individuals and impress on that account. For his part, William Wellman has provided beautifully detailed direction that doesn't skimp on suspense or action and that even makes the love angle work -- often a hard trick in "manly" Westerns. He's aided by Joe MacDonald's stark, almost expressionistic cinematography, a feast of black-and-white images that carry their own considerable emotional weight. Finally, Sky has a marvelous cast, with Gregory Peck a solid leading man with a villainous side, James Barton a welcome addition as the man who knows (perhaps) where the gold is, and Richard Widmark adding another notch to his irreplaceable psychotic lowlife repertoire.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/23/2006
UPC:
0024543240877
Original Release:
1948
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:38:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Poster and "one sheet" display; Production still photo gallery; Behind-the-scenes photos

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gregory Peck Stretch
Anne Baxter Mike
Richard Widmark Dude
Robert Arthur Bull Run
John Russell Lengthy
Henry Morgan Half Pint
James Barton Grandpa
Charles Kemper Walrus
Robert Adler Jed
Harry Carter Lieutenant
Victor Kilian Bartender
Paul Hurst Drunk
Hank Worden Rancher
Jay Silverheels Indian
William Gould Banker
Norman Leavitt Bank Teller
Chief Yowlachie Colorado
Eula Guy Woman in Bank

Technical Credits
William Wellman Director
Albert Hogsett Art Director
Harmon Jones Editor
Ernest Lansing Set Decoration/Design
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Joe MacDonald Cinematographer
Alfred Newman Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Ben Nye Makeup
Fred Sersen Special Effects
Lamar Trotti Producer,Screenwriter
Lyle Wheeler Art Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Yellow Sky
1. Main Titles [1:09]
2. Filling Up [4:29]
3. Kid's Piggy Bank [3:21]
4. Unlucky Place [3:53]
5. Precious Life [4:50]
6. Ghost Town [3:08]
7. Oasis [3:14]
8. Quite a Punch [2:47]
9. No Messing Around [2:48]
10. Like a Female [5:49]
11. Following a Hunch [3:29]
12. Who's the Boss? [4:58]
13. Flag of Truce [3:42]
14. Plumb Greedy [5:38]
15. Digging for Gold [1:46]
16. Burr Under the Saddle [3:50]
17. Sad and Lonely [4:56]
18. Good People [4:36]
19. Striking It Rich [2:38]
20. Wrong Impression [3:32]
21. Playing Square [7:02]
22. Under Cover of Darkness [7:55]
23. To the Finish [4:45]
24. A New Leaf [4:01]

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