Back on Aug. 8, we published a blog extolling Twentieth Century Fox’s underrated 1950 “oater” The Gunfighter starring Gregory Peck. The movie remains an unjustifiably ignored gem that features Peck in a starring role that uncharacteristically is less than noble.

Well, today we have another offering in a similar vein.

One can argue that the Noir Film and the Western Film merged seven years before with the The Ox Bow Incident directed by William Wellman.   The stylistic merger continued slowly, but one of the finest of the breed was 1949’s Yellow Sky, starring Peck and one of our very favorite actresses, Anne Baxter.  The Fox production was also directed by Wellman.

Hello, everybody. Your Movie Chat Guys (follow us on twitter) back again. Years ago Joe and his co-author Ed Epstein worked with their pal the late John Griggs to produce the book The Films of Gregory Peck. When they did they screened all of Peck’s films and Joe was most impressed with Yellow Sky.

It’s about a gold mining grandpa and his feisty grandaughter (Baxter) in a desolate western town fending off assaults from a group of nasties including, yes, Gregory Peck. We won’t tell you much more about it. We want you to be as surprised by it as Joe was.

Suffice it to say it has great performances (note Richard Widmark), evocative black-and-white cinematography (by Joseph MacDonald) and a taut story line.

Although it is not well remembered today we think it a classic. And here’s a sidebar: The Writers Guild of America gave Lamar Trotti (the producer as well as co writer) and W. R. Burnett (his story and co writer of the screenplay) their award for “Best Written American Western” of 1949.

We’ll be publishing lots more shortly about various “best” westerns.  But today, we just wanted to offer this brief recommendation.  Yellow Sky, one to seek out.

 

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