Yellowstone Kelly is a 1959 Western Technicolor film based upon a novel by Heck Allen (using his pen name Clay Fisher, which shows in the movie credits) with a screenplay by Burt Kennedy starring Clint Walker as Luther Sage "Yellowstone" Kelly, and directed by Gordon Douglas. The film was originally supposed to be directed by John Ford with John Wayne in the Clint Walker role but Ford and Wayne opted to make The Horse Soldiers instead.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Gordon Douglas|
|Screenplay by||Burt Kennedy|
|Based on||the novel|
by Clay Fisher
|Music by||Howard Jackson|
|Cinematography||Carl E. Guthrie|
|Edited by||William H. Ziegler|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$1.7 million (est. US/ Canada rentals)|
At the time the film was notable for using the leads of then popular Warner Bros. Television shows, Cheyenne (Walker), Lawman (Russell), 77 Sunset Strip (Byrnes), and The Alaskans (Danton) as well as Warners contract stars such as Andra Martin, Claude Akins, Rhodes Reason and Gary Vinson.
The novel was based on the real life Luther Kelly.
- Clint Walker as Luther "Yellowstone" Kelly
- Edd Byrnes as Anse Harper
- John Russell as Gall, Sioux Chief
- Ray Danton as Sayapi, Gall's nephew
- Claude Akins as Sergeant
- Rhodes Reason as Major Towns
- Andra Martin as Wahleeah, Sayapi's Arapaho captive
- Gary Vinson as Lieutenant
- Warren Oates as Corporal
- Harry Shannon as Captain
Warner Bros announced the project in August 1956 saying that John Wayne would star. It was based on a novel by Clay Fisher, not published until April 1957. When the novel came out the New York Times said it "rates grade A without question".
By early 1959 the project had become a vehicle for Clint Walker, the star of Warner Bros' hit TV show Cheyenne and the final script was done by Burt Kennedy who was under contract to Warners at the time.
Filming took place in April and June 1959, partly on location in Flagstaff, Arizona. "I felt miserable and lost ten pounds in one month" said Byrnes. Ray Danton was signed to a long term contract at Warners after the film.
The Los Angeles Times called the film "fairly good" in which Byrnes was "a bit too contemporary. Let it be said that he left his comb somewhere in the Sunset Strip and played it straight from there. Burt Kennedy's script is first rate."
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