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Yellow Sky

Sunday, June 14, 2015, 2 p.m., Dryden Theatre

A gang of bank-robbing bandits, led by the feared outlaw Stretch (Gregory Peck), flee from a posse into a desert to find refuge in a ghost town populated only by an ancient gold digger and his tomboy granddaughter (Anne Baxter).

“A wonderfully disorienting cinematic experience. Part-western but also part-noir, style is key in Yellow Sky, as Wellman highlights the expansive landscapes with disjointed camera angles, too-close-for-comfort close-ups, and high-contrast black and white photography. You see and feel the space and, after a misleadingly jovial theme song that leads into a brief cue from Oh Susanna, you also hear it, as Wellman strips the movie of any soundtrack except the uncomfortable sound of silence. Peck, Widmark, and any horse caught on camera are at the center of the action, but it’s Anne Baxter that steals the show. As the only woman in the picture, she’s typical of many of Wellman’s women of the 1940s and 1950s, a no holds barred frontier women using her body as a means of achieving a life of her own choosing.” – Il cinema ritrovato