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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

A still from Yellowstone Kelly (1959)

Yellowstone Kelly

1959 | United States | 91 min
  • Watched on Tue Feb 2, 2021 via iTunes
    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Warren Oates’ first credited feature. The story centers on the titular Kelly, a trapper played by Clint Walker who finds himself caught between a Sioux tribe, the US Army, and an alluring Arapahoe hostage.

    The movie itself proves mediocre. Wide-open location photography shifts to a constrained soundstage for major scenes. The big action set pieces never escaped the modest budget.

    But I loved Walker’s performance. Standing six and a half feet tall, with broad shoulders and a granite jaw, he projects an almost superhuman appearance. Coupled with his baritone delivery, he’s the perfect action hero. During the requisite brawl scene, he towers over the other performers like a man among children.

    I also appreciated seeing Rio Bravo’s Burdette brothers. Claude Akins, who played Joe, turns up an Army sergeant. John Russell, who played Nathan, shows up as a Sioux chief!

    For his part, Oates proves forgettable in an inconsequential role as an Army soldier.

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