A band of bank robbers on the run from a posse flee into the desert. Near death from lack of water they stumble into what appears to be a ghost town, only to discover an old prospector and his granddaughter living there. The robbers discover that the old man has been mining gold and set out to make a quick fortune by robbing the pair. Their plan runs foul when the gang leader, Stretch, falls for the granddaughter, which sets off a showdown between the entire gang. Written by
E.W. DesMarais <email@example.com>
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.
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