Yellow Sky DVD: Review By Evan "Mushy" Jacobs

How can you not like a Gregory Peck movie?
  • OVERALL
    3.0
    WORTHY
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
How can you not like a Gregory Peck movie?
THE BAD
It would have been nice to have gotten a small "making of" piece or maybe a historical commentary track on this DVD.
THE FEATURE
Yellow Sky is an interesting film that plays a lot like Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan. What gives the former film so much mojo is the outset, slow brewing, "we know it's gonna happen" confrontation between James Dawson (Gregory Peck) and Dude (Richard Widmark). Leading a group of men, Dawson comes upon what seems like a deserted ghost town. The only people there seem to be a young woman and her grandfather. Dawson soon finds out that there's gold to be had and greed eventually gets the better of everyone.

This is the kind of movie where we may know what's going to happen next but it sure is entertaining watching the action unfold. Yellow Sky is a highly entertaining blast from the past.
THE EXTRAS
Photo Galleries

There are three separate galleries on this DVD. There are is a "Poster and 'One Sheet' Display" for the movie's theatrical release. A "Production Still Photo Gallery" and a "Behind the Scenes Gallery" which are essentially the same thing. Basically, they show us pictures from the set of this movie and the biggest thing I noticed was that all the one sheet images looked like they had been lifted from Gone with the Wind.
THE VIDEO
1.33:1 - Full Frame. Don't be fooled by the color pictures on the back of this film's cover, this movie is in black and white. Interestingly, I am not sure how this film was shot, but the colors looked richer than they normally do in most black and white films. This I think can be attributed to the film stock which I feel had a hand in not making Yellow Sky stand out, but also hold up for fifty-eight years before it came to DVD.
THE AUDIO
Dolby Digital. English - Stereo and Mono. Spanish - Mono. Close Captioned. Subtitled in English and Spanish. This film looks good but it's also very well written. Based on a story by the popular W.R. Burnett, I am not surprised that Lamar Trotti was able to put together such a well crafty screenplay. While the audio is pretty simple, I think it serves the story and the film fine.
THE PACKAGE
An all against one black and white image of horsemen standing off, against what seems like a lone gunslinger, is the main image for this front cover. The back cover gives us images from the film that have curiously been colorized, a description of Yellow Sky, a "Special Features" listing, a credits list and technical specs.
THE FINAL WORD
Why is it that there really doesn't seem to be any actors like Gregory Peck around anymore? I think the answer probably lies in the fact that both the times and acting styles are different. Peck had a delivery and style of speech that was seen as overtly masculine. It was something that people responded to. Nowadays, if an actor made the speeches or declarations that James Dawson does in this film, they would be seen as melodramatic. Fads come and go but that is the beauty of cinema, we always have films like Yellow Sky to remind us of what was.

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