YELLOW SKY did well on release in 1948, with positive reviews and $6,100,000 returns. Neglected since, it makes for a neat 98 minute refresher, with thematic echoes of “The Tempest” and the same years The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre. A tough-minded, scruffy Gregory Peck leads five similarly rough customers across parched desert to a ghost town occupied by sharpshooting tomboy Anne Baxter and her grandpa. They found gold, Peck and pals want it, and a few of them want her in the bargain. Ranks will thin.
Good script, but for some conveniently abrupt behavioral about-faces and Baxter being pretty forgiving of being pawed, witness the advertising tagline “It was a moment for being a woman, for only a woman’s weapon could keep her alive…” Tightly directed by William A.Wellman. Excellent black & white camera work from Joseph MacDonald showcases stark beauty of Death Valley and Lone Pine locations. It looks hot and these guys look thirsty.
The second of twelve westerns for Peck, the first of seventeen for Richard Widmark, here as the craftiest of Peck’s gang. Others are John Russell (leering and believably dangerous), Charles Kemper, Harry Morgan and Robert Arthur. Crustified James Barton plays gramps. Good show.