movie film review | chris tookey

Yellow Sky

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  Yellow Sky Review
Tookey's Rating
6 /10
Average Rating
7.13 /10
Gregory Peck, Anne Baxter, Richard Widmark
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Directed by: William A. Wellman
Written by: Lamar Trotti from W.R. Burnett's novel

Released: 1948
Origin: US
Colour: BW
Length: 98

Bankrobbers on the run (including Gregory Peck) discover a ghost town containing a gold prospector (James Barton) and his granddaughter (Anne Baxter).
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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If the plot sounds vaguely familiar, that's because it's our old pal The Tempest again - later transformed into science fiction (for Forbidden Planet ) and technological ego-trip (in Prospero's Books ). Here, it provides the structure for a superior western. The role of Caliban, incidentally, is shared between some renegade Apache Indians. The film is better at the beginning - when everyone seems motivated by greed or lust - than later on, when the pace slows and Peck becomes too much of a goodie-goodie to be credible. However, Wellman's atmospheric direction (making effective use of natural sound) and Joseph MacDonald's stark photography make it something special. Lamar Trotti's screenplay is one that could usefully be studied by aspiring screenwriters; it makes minimal use of dialogue, yet won an award from America's Writers' Guild as the best written American western of the year. There was an inferior remake, The Jackals (1967), set in South Africa.

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