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Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: Belkin on February 01, 2005, 01:38:36 AM



Title: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: Belkin on February 01, 2005, 01:38:36 AM

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040978/


Just watched YELLOW SKY. A fine western. Classic even. Apart from opening and closing soundtrack there is no music throughout the movie just heightened sound effects. A terrific desert scene where PECK and gang dying from thirst come across a town.....a GHOST TOWN called YELLOW SKY. This early American movie must have been seen by LEONE! Shot in glorious black n' white this movie felt like a young spag straining at the leash!  ;)


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: Concorde on February 01, 2005, 03:52:47 AM

Where exactly did you find this rarity, Belkin?


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on February 01, 2005, 04:19:29 AM
I've read that it is one to see.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: Belkin on February 01, 2005, 11:28:22 AM
I've read that it is one to see.
Caught up with it yesterday on Channel4 (UK)! Swear to God, man, it was a revelation.  ;) Convinced LEONE had it in mind when he began his western journey!


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on February 07, 2006, 06:33:39 PM
Caught a part of this last Saturday, Gregory Peck, Richard Widmark, Henry Morgan, Anne Baxter, a group of outlaws struggle across a desert and make it to a Yellow Sky a crumbling ghost town reminded me a bit of "Cemetery Without Crosses " except all the buildings still had signs with writting on them. It was a predictable story concerning a girl & her prospector dad who inhabit the place with the gold the've found. Peck & Baxter charaters fall in love and Peck battles it out with his gang. Some of the B&W cinematography is nicely surrealistic.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: KERMIT on February 10, 2006, 12:28:38 AM
the final stalking scenes are film noir at its finest, only the urban setting with bars, cars and cement has been replaced by horses, barns, rocks, dirt and empty saloons.....filmed in the same year as THE TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE(1948), YELLOW SKY'S tale of gold is just as potent.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on February 10, 2006, 07:56:50 PM
Kerm, be ready for tomorrow morning:

AMC EST: 6:00AM Two Mules for Sister Sara
                8:15AM The Big Trail
              10:45AM The Undefeated
                1:15PM Cahill US Marshall

Plenty for you to post about  ;D


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: KERMIT on February 10, 2006, 11:47:33 PM
am planing on catching my zz's joe. nothing better than getting up at 6 a/m to watch two mule's for sista sara.
i'm riveted.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on April 07, 2006, 04:09:54 PM
On AMC tomorrow moring 8AM Eastern, interesting western, check it out.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: The Firecracker on April 07, 2006, 04:46:31 PM
read the premise of "yellow sky" on imbd. sounds interesting. reminds me of a very rare spaghetti western called "Bad kids of the west".

The premise is two bank robbers kill several people during a bank heist and make off with the loot. they ride through the desert until they reach what seems to be a ghost town, but it is in fact crawling with children. Kids that dress up like cowboys and go about their daily lives as if they were adults. later the kids want a share of the cash the bandits are lugging around but of course the bandits arent willing to share.

weird film I know. I want to see it because it is so off the wall and wacky. I am sure it will be terrible though.

funny enough it was co-written by Bruno Corbucci.
It seems to be impossibly hard to find.

it is also titled
Kid, Terrror of the west, Western Kid, Kid il monello del west.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: The Firecracker on April 07, 2006, 08:26:19 PM
concerning "Bad kids of the west". I was checking out to see if it has a spot on Imdb and it didnt!!!!! Imdb is supposed to have everything.

it is not listed on Bruno Corbucci's list of film he wrote nor is it listed in the directors (Tonino Ricci) filmography. wow this film has completly slipped by many people. It is like it was lost in time.

very strange.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on April 08, 2006, 10:22:22 AM
Actually, after just getting through watching Yellow Sky all the way through this time and there are quotes from it used by both Sergio Leone in GBU and by Robert Hossein in Cemetery Without Crosses. I'll have to say any SW lover should check out this film by dir. William Wellman

The first twenty minutes of Yellow Sky are very SW looking,  Peck, Widmark, Russel, Morgan, Kemper, and Arthur are all very dirty, and scruffeled looking, unshaven, they ride into a town visit a saloon where they talk up the barkeep and a town drunk to get information on the whereabouts of the sheriff, they admire a nude painting on the wall behind the bar of a girl and a horse then they go and rob the bank, a chase ensues, it is filmed just like Hossien's intense chase at the beginning of CWC, a lot of pounding hooves and shots of the riders, they reach a salt flat/sink where they decide to cross the sink, its "70" miles across to the nearest town.

There are desert crossing shots that look fantastic, the horses are breaking through the bright white salt pan and its reminisent of the horse chase in the deep snow Run Man Run, even a sequence where they are in dunes like in GBU.

They are about to collapse from lack of water (they all look like Blondie during his desert ordeal blistered lips etc., etc.) when they spot a town on an alluvial fan at the base of a mountain. When they get there they find it is a ghost town called Yellow Sky, looks like "ghost town" in CWC, Leone used a ghost town to introduce Tuco. Another similar sequence to Tuco's intro is the sequence where the three bounty hunters enter the saloon and Tuco jumps through the window, there is a sequence at the end of YS that is shot similar.

There are a lot of night action scenes that look like a noir.Some action takes place in a saloon gambling hall like CWC, old dusty gamming devices litter the place, and the love interest a shapely Anne Baxter, looks like Joanna Rogers at the end of CWC.

Baxter is a tomboyish character cutting a nice figure in her jeans, living with her prospector grandfather, and she is believable in the role and becomes the focal point of the sexual tentions in the group of outlaws that along with greed for the prospectors gold split the gang apart.

Another neat little cinematic memory moment in Yellow Sky is the remarkable resemblance of the actor John Russel to SW actor/stuntman Benito Stefanelli, you'd almost swear it was him.

If this film had been shot in cinemascope and color it would have been director Wellman's Western masterpiece alot of this film was shot out on location (looks like Lone Pine and Death Valley) its even better than his "The OxBow Incident" (which has the actors in costumes that are similar to those in "The Great Silence") in my opinion.

Its supposed to take place in 1867 (by a title printed on screen) so they goofed by having Colt 1873 Peacemakers and '73 Winchesters (but if that was removed there is nothing to link it to any decade except the firearms), there is barely any score, a instumental title sequence, and a harmonica piece in the film, but the sounds are mostly of wind blowing.

Good to add to an AW collection.



Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on April 09, 2006, 08:24:07 AM
One more thing, I forgot about a shot in this film. It had a sequence where Anne Baxter is drawing a bead on Gregory Peck with a Winchester, what's unique is (and I don't know if it was done before this) is that there is a cut where the camera looks through the barrel of the Winchester and we see Peck surrounded by a circle surrounded by the rifleing in the barrel of the gun, pretty cool effect.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on July 18, 2006, 05:37:10 AM
This film is out on DVD now and can be found for $12 at Best Buy but it may go lower in time.

It also shows some shots of Peck attending to the horses as they cross the sink in Death Valley, its good to see that in a film it adds to the realism, Bud Boetticher was another director that showed care for the stock.

Good thing to remember for the future directors on the board.  8)


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: The Firecracker on July 18, 2006, 09:53:37 AM
This film is out on DVD now and can be found for $12 at Best Buy but it may go lower in time.


12 buckaroos is pretty dirt cheap. i might just pick this up (blind) soon.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 21, 2006, 03:41:52 PM
Some of the B&W cinematography is nicely surrealistic.
You can thank the great Joe MacDonald for that.

I finally saw this and yeah, Joe, this is a pretty good film. Loved the crossing of the salt flats (Death Valley). Ann Baxter is pretty good, too, she looks great in jeans and is still young enough to be appealing (short little thing, ain't she?) After All About Eve (1950) she always looked like somebody's mother.

This flick is ripe for a re-make. You could do a lot with it, expanding the bank job, making the desert crossing more arduous (why not have a couple gang members die there?), playing up more of the betrayals amongst the gang as gold fever takes hold. Also, it would be great if Gramps and the girl weren't so goody-goody. How about a denoument where, after disposing of the gang (and maybe Gramps expiring somehow in the process), the hero and heroine are finally all alone with the gold. But the funny thing is, when the ecstacy is upon you, it's just not possible to share....... Yeah, my approach would turn the thing into more of a noir, with lots of double-crosses. Could be good, though.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on August 21, 2006, 05:30:48 PM
Quote
This flick is ripe for a re-make. You could do a lot with it, expanding the bank job, making the desert crossing more arduous (why not have a couple gang members die there?), playing up more of the betrayals amongst the gang as gold fever takes hold. Also, it would be great if Gramps and the girl weren't so goody-goody. How about a denoument where, after disposing of the gang (and maybe Gramps expiring somehow in the process), the hero and heroine are finally all alone with the gold. But the funny thing is, when the ecstacy is upon you, it's just not possible to share....... Yeah, my approach would turn the thing into more of a noir, with lots of double-crosses. Could be good, though.


Exactly what I think too, make it a bit more SW, with a bit more picaresque characters with some theme music for some of them too. There are a few of these out there especially the good B&W Western films that could benefit from a remake.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 21, 2006, 06:21:04 PM
One more thing, I forgot about a shot in this film. It had a sequence where Anne Baxter is drawing a bead on Gregory Peck with a Winchester, what's unique is (and I don't know if it was done before this) is that there is a cut where the camera looks through the barrel of the Winchester and we see Peck surrounded by a circle surrounded by the rifleing in the barrel of the gun, pretty cool effect.
Fuller copies this (consciously or not, I don't know) in Forty Guns.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on August 23, 2006, 05:48:20 AM
After recently watching Bad Day at Balck Rock and Yellow Sky, We need some updated Westerns shot in the Mojave Desert & Death Valley, what great landscapes.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 23, 2006, 09:12:00 AM
I think most of Yellow Sky was shot at Lone Pine, though. The Death Valley locations were only in the first part of the picture. But yeah, I agree, we need to see more deserts in our films set on the wild frontier.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: Tim on August 23, 2006, 09:54:56 AM
Quote
After recently watching Bad Day at Balck Rock and Yellow Sky, We need some updated Westerns shot in the Mojave Desert & Death Valley, what great landscapes.

  Wasn't The Professionals shot in Death Valley?  That's got some great cinematography as they cross the flats and then get into the mountain country with all the canyons.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on August 23, 2006, 05:46:32 PM
Quote
Wasn't The Professionals shot in Death Valley?  That's got some great cinematography as they cross the flats and then get into the mountain country with all the canyons.


Don't know for sure but the railroad sections were shot on the Magma Mine RR in Arizona I believe.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: The Firecracker on August 29, 2007, 09:58:01 AM
Finished this just now.
I liked it a lot.
The was an obvious attempt to make the characters look dirty (something you don't see often).

My only gripe is that ending.

spoiler...











Who else found it annoying that they gave the money back?

















spoiler end.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: The Firecracker on August 29, 2007, 10:03:51 AM
One more thing, I forgot about a shot in this film. It had a sequence where Anne Baxter is drawing a bead on Gregory Peck with a Winchester, what's unique is (and I don't know if it was done before this) is that there is a cut where the camera looks through the barrel of the Winchester and we see Peck surrounded by a circle surrounded by the rifleing in the barrel of the gun, pretty cool effect.


Yeah, reminded me of James Bond but then my next thought was Carnimeo's "The moment to kill" which uses the same effect only with a double barrel shotgun.

Of course both, the franchise and the other flick, these were released after "Yellow Sky".


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: PowerRR on August 29, 2007, 03:26:25 PM
Yellow Sky is really good, I saw it a while ago on AMC. They sometimes play good westerns on Sunday mornings.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on August 29, 2007, 08:25:12 PM
If you liked the desert sequences in Yellow Sky check out "Three Godfathers" also.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: Dust Devil on October 09, 2009, 03:20:24 PM
It's a good little Western, though not special or outstanding as some deem it to be. The cinematography is nice and the performances are good, but it's also frickin' inert once they get to town. Inert and predictable, actually. Like someone said before; they had a few characters too many there, that should have been disposed of earlier in the desert. Also, that ending should have been avoided. And the generic romance subplot, but I guess we wouldn't have much of a movie then, eh?.


7.4/10


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: Dust Devil on October 09, 2009, 03:24:39 PM

Grandpa: Mighty hot sun, almost tempts a man to drink water.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on October 09, 2009, 06:46:31 PM
It's a good little Western, though not special or outstanding as some deem it to be.
Right, right. So the better Westerns of 1949 are . . . ?


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: Dust Devil on October 09, 2009, 07:23:57 PM
Right, right. So the better Westerns of 1949 are . . . ?

Yellow Sky was released in 1948, not 1949. But what would that prove anyway?


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: stanton on October 10, 2009, 02:34:15 AM
Yellow Sky is meanwhile for me one of the best westerns, only the end is a let-down.

It seems like this end wasn't part of the original film. It seems pretty much like one of these altered-by-the-producer ends. But I haven't any informations if this actually happened or if Wellman and Trotti are to blame for it.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on October 10, 2009, 02:55:25 AM
Yellow Sky was released in 1948, not 1949. But what would that prove anyway?
It would prove that you're comparing apples, not apples and oranges.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: Dust Devil on October 11, 2009, 06:05:41 AM
Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how one looks at it), certain movies I've watched in the 21st century, and not in the 20th.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: T.H. on October 11, 2009, 10:41:58 PM
I don't think the film loses any steam once they enter town, the desert scenes ran their course. I agree that the ending is a little disappointing, but this is a masterpiece. DD, you don't seem to enjoy any classic american westerns.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: Dust Devil on October 12, 2009, 12:15:10 PM
DD, you don't seem to enjoy any classic american westerns.

Hmmm, that ''any'' looks kinda suspicious. What gave you that impression, that I don't enjoy (C)AW in general?

After all, I gave YS a 7.4, which is a pretty good indicator I enjoyed it. Couldn't give it more because I felt there wasn't enough masterpiece material. The desert scenes are excellent and the ending is also very good (although crude at moments), but the middle chunk seemed draggy in more than one occasion. I felt like they had to entertain them all with a (generic) romance subplot.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: T.H. on October 16, 2009, 04:36:47 PM
Hmmm, that ''any'' looks kinda suspicious. What gave you that impression, that I don't enjoy (C)AW in general?

After all, I gave YS a 7.4, which is a pretty good indicator I enjoyed it. Couldn't give it more because I felt there wasn't enough masterpiece material. The desert scenes are excellent and the ending is also very good (although crude at moments), but the middle chunk seemed draggy in more than one occasion. I felt like they had to entertain them all with a (generic) romance subplot.

I didn't mean to put you on the spot, but I never seen you rate an old school Western higher than a 7-something.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: Dust Devil on October 16, 2009, 05:10:50 PM
I didn't mean to put you on the spot, but I never seen you rate an old school Western higher than a 7-something.

Tell you what, stay tuned, everything is possible when the end of the year starts knocking on the door. I'm temporarily on a W frenzy, by the laws of probability I must run into something out of the ordinary sooner or later. ;)


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: titoli on October 22, 2009, 07:35:45 AM
This loses steam once Peck shaves. Should have kept his beard on. ::) The scene where he tells about himself to the prospector and niece is embarassing. The finale possibly even more. These 2 scenes alone (and even some Peck scenes where he has no clue as to playing) ruin what might have been an absolute masterpiece, with a photography which can be easily compared (favourably) to My Darling Clementine. As it is I give it a7\10, just as I gave, if I remember well, to MDC.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on October 22, 2009, 08:47:35 AM
This loses steam once Peck shaves. Should have kept his beard on. ::) The scene where he tells about himself to the prospector and niece is embarassing. The finale possibly even more. These 2 scenes alone (and even some Peck scenes where he has no clue as to playing) ruin what might have been an absolute masterpiece, with a photography which can be easily compared (favourably) to My Darling Clementine. As it is I give it a7\10, just as I gave, if I remember well, to MDC.
I guess this is fair and I don't disagree with any of it. I object to the comment that the film is "nothing special" or words to that effect. A B&W Western shot by Joe MacDonald is, by definition, special.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: titoli on October 22, 2009, 09:31:38 AM
I guess this is fair and I don't disagree with any of it. I object to the comment that the film is "nothing special" or words to that effect. A B&W Western shot by Joe MacDonald is, by definition, special.

Oh, you can object and disagree if you wish.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: Dust Devil on October 22, 2009, 12:02:50 PM
You'd think an old semantics lover like dave would know the difference between ''the movie is not special (or outstanding)'' and ''there's nothing special about this movie''.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on October 22, 2009, 01:59:12 PM
They are semantically identical.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: titoli on October 22, 2009, 03:24:26 PM
A movie could be special just because it has nothing special.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 25, 2011, 03:44:14 AM
I just saw "Yellow Sky." Didn't like it as much as most of you did. Also, I didn't find the Gregory Peck character totally convincing; the "honest bank robber." I mean, yeah, in the movies, you need a certain suspension of disbelief, but I this wasn't very convincing.

"Yellow Sky" reminded me of another black 'n white AW made a few years later, "The Secret of Convict Lake." I prefer the latter.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 15, 2011, 11:28:51 AM
Yowza! http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/dvdreviews21/yellow_sky_dvd_review.htm

Beaver claims it's Region B locked, as per what's on the packaging, but I've read elsewhere that it is in fact Region Free. I shall investigate further . . . .


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: Novecento on September 15, 2011, 04:41:17 PM
I thought you were region free?


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: Novecento on September 15, 2011, 04:51:12 PM
Seems DVD Beaver has now confirmed it to be region free.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 16, 2011, 04:51:05 AM
Great. Yeah, I'm (theoretically) region free, but maybe others on the board aren't? So, in case they're interested . . . .


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: T.H. on March 04, 2013, 01:05:28 PM
I watched the first ten minutes of the region free Koch digibook bluray and it looks beautiful. There's a lot more depth than I expected, everyone should jump on this. I got it shipped to the US for 22 USD, not bad considering I'd pay 40-45 if need be.


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: Groggy on September 08, 2013, 07:25:16 AM
Groggy review:

Quote
William A. Wellman enjoyed a long and varied career, helming such perennials as Wings (1927), A Star is Born (1937) and Beau Geste (1939). He hit his stride in the '40s with stark, unsentimental genre flicks like The Ox-Bow Incident (1943) and Battleground (1949). Yellow Sky (1948) fits snugly within that rubric, a simple but striking Western.

After a botched bank robbery, James Dawson (Gregory Peck) leads his outlaw band across Death Valley. They arrive at Yellow Sky, an abandoned mining town occupied only by a prospector (James Barton) and his tomboy daughter Mike (Ann Baxter). Dawson discovers the two sit atop a gold mine, which his gang's eager to plunder. But Dawson has other ideas. He'd really rather go straight, and starts developing an attachment to Mike. His lieutenants Dude (Richard Widmark) and Lengthy (John Russell) don't like that idea, initiating conflict.

Yellow Sky wraps a lot of story in its 98 minute runtime. There's a gritty sparseness reminiscent of Budd Boetticher all the characters and situations are stock, yet so expertly presented it's hard to complain. Dawsno starts as a rough character, roughing up his men and threatening to rape Mike, but a few heart-to-hearts and a shave later, he's your typical Western hero. Writer Lamar Trotti gives villain simple motives to drive their treachery: Dude just wants to justify the gang's hardship; Lengthy falls for Mike. It's  frontier myth splashed with a dose of harsh reality.

But Wellman's direction really stands out. Yellow Sky's opening is a self-contained gem, with Dawson's gang trekking across Death Valley. It's a remarkable sequence, presaging Wellman's later Westward the Woman: frontier life is no grand adventure but a wearying hardship. He makes ingenious use of the ghost town setting and handles mandated set pieces well, occasionally even subverting them (a band of menacing Apaches come and go without incident). Joseph MacDonald's photography adds a noir-ish feel, mixing stark shadows with neat optical effects (including a proto-Bond "gun barrel" scene). Along with the near-absence of music, it's a unique experience.

Gregory Peck successfully transitions from rapacious lout (shades of his Duel in the Sun character) to straight-edged hero. This convenient reform works because, well, he's Gregory Peck. Richard Widmark adds another pre-stardom dastard to his resume. Anne Baxter makes a convincing tough gal who never goes completely soft. James Barton can't help coming off as a Walter Huston manque - though this film came out the same year as Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

Yellow Sky is a solid Western. The story breaks little new ground, but its efficient structure and foreboding photography make it worth a watch. 8/10

http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2013/09/yellow-sky.html (http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2013/09/yellow-sky.html)


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 08, 2013, 05:09:49 PM
Excellent review, Grogs. Hmmm, that German Blu-ray is starting to tempt me all the more (especially since I could bundle it with the German Blu of Western Union). But there IS a UK Blu of YS, and it is also supposed to be playable in all regions. Does anyone know if the transfers are the same?


Title: Re: Yellow Sky (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 11, 2016, 11:10:06 AM
US Blu on the way: https://twitter.com/KLStudioClassic/status/708339519653879808