7.4/10
4,358
66 user 36 critic

Yellow Sky (1948)

Approved | | Crime, Western | January 1949 (USA)
Trailer
1:39 | Trailer
A pistol-packing tomboy and her grandfather discover a band of bank robbing bandits taking refuge in the neighboring ghost town.

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Lamar Trotti (screenplay), W.R. Burnett (story)
Reviews
2 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gregory Peck ... James 'Stretch' Dawson
Anne Baxter ... Constance Mae 'Mike'
Richard Widmark ... Dude
Robert Arthur ... Bull Run
John Russell ... Lengthy
Harry Morgan ... Half Pint (as Henry Morgan)
James Barton ... Grandpa
Charles Kemper ... Walrus
Edit

Storyline

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 <jlongst@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It was as if the YELLOW SKY had sought them out... where fate had forgotten them and life had left them behind! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The start of the movie is similar to "The Ox-Bow Incident" where drifters go into a saloon looking at a painting above the bar. A local wino follows the group into the saloon and begs for a drink. See more »

Goofs

Story is set in 1867, according to the opening scene, yet all handguns in the movie are 1873 Colt Peacemakers. See more »

Quotes

James 'Stretch' Dawson: You gotta hit some people in the head with an ax.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The West - 1867 See more »

Connections

Featured in The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Sad and I'm Lonely
(uncredited)
Performed by Charles Kemper
See more »

User Reviews

 
Totally solid, gorgeous, archetypal film about loyalty, greed, and love
23 October 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Yellow Sky (1948)

A classic and somewhat formulaic, beautifully photographed Western with a couple small twists. The main thing you might not catch is that this is an adaptation of "The Tempest," by Shakespeare. Here, the band of travelers crosses a metaphoric sea (the desert) and reaches a "New World" where they sort out what matters between them. The set was built (and deliberately destroyed) from an old silent film set that was left over.

Of note--Gregory Peck and Richard Widmark together for their only time, and they inevitably end up as enemies. The setting is the amazing and deadly Death Valley, and the locations shooting is shot there for authenticity. William Wellman was one of those consistently excellent directors who never really made a bad film, but didn't always make exceptional ones, and this one is right in his usual mix of strong visuals, tight editing, fairly simple dramatic plots, and a key actor or two to identify with.

Ann Baxter is the third leading character, and she's pretty much right on, with some grit and determination, but also a little too isolated for her own good. She's a kind of parallel to the really touch Mercedes McCambridge in "Johnny Guitar," a far more inventive movie, but one where an isolated woman (or two) have to fight off the greedy male rabble. Sort of like life, sometimes. Note that "Johnny Guitar" is four years later.

Besides Wellman's expertise, cinematographer Joe MacDonald's work is really worth noticing, for once again he helps elevate a fairly straightforward plot into something hard bitten, layered, and beautiful. MacDonald, born in Mexico, really came into his own by the late forties, and is behind a whole bunch of noir and western classics (as well as the famous "How to Marry a Millionaire"). In all, it's a really good movie, no question.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 66 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Yellow Sky See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$5,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed