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Yellowstone Kelly (1959)

Approved | | Western | 11 December 1959 (Finland)
In 1870s, in the Sioux territory south of the Missouri, trapper and Indian scout Luther Yellowstone Kelly is hired by the army at Fort Buford but runs into trouble with the Sioux.

Director:

Gordon Douglas

Writers:

Burt Kennedy (screenplay), Heck Allen (from the book by) (as Clay Fisher)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clint Walker ... Luther 'Yellowstone' Kelly
Edd Byrnes ... Anse Harper (as Edward Byrnes)
John Russell ... Gall
Ray Danton ... Sayapi - Gall's Nephew
Claude Akins ... Sergeant
Rhodes Reason ... Maj. Towns
Andra Martin ... Wahleeah - Sayapi's Arapaho Captive
Gary Vinson ... Lieutenant
Warren Oates ... Corporal
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Storyline

A fur-trapper named Kelly, who once saved the life of a Sioux chief, is allowed to set his traps in Sioux territory during the late 1870s. Reluctantly he takes on a tenderfoot assistant named Anse and together they give shelter to a runaway Arapaho woman. Tensions develop when Anse falls in love with this woman and when the Sioux chief arrives with his warriors to re-claim her. Written by dinky-4 of Minneapolis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Always, the Kid strained to match Big Kelly's stride... and finally did, one Indian-screaming afternoon... See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 December 1959 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Man nannte ihn Kelly See more »

Filming Locations:

Flagstaff, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Warren Oates' biography, all the crew caught flu during the shooting except Clint Walker, because he was a health food addict. See more »

Goofs

The Lakota and Arapahoe were allies. They sometimes lived side by side and intermarried. For the Lakota (Gall's tribe) to hold an Arapahoe as a captive is impossible. See more »

Quotes

Opening title card: The West was opened by courageous trail-blazing pioneers like Lewis & Clark and Luther "Yellowstone" Kelly - trapper, surveyor and Indian scout who was the first frontiersman to cross the mighty Yellowstone Valley.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: The West was opened by courageous trail-blazing pioneers like Lewis & Clark and Luther "Yellowstone" Kelly, - - trapper, surveyor, and indian scout who was the first frontiersman to cross the mighty Yellowstone Valley. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Best of Bandstand (1986) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

An Interesting Subtext
2 September 2011 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

One good thing—WB popped for some scenic Arizona locations, at the same time they didn't stint on extras to flesh out the big battle scene. However, reviewer Dinky is spot-on about the negatives. As a drama, the film is definitely inferior to the underrated Fort Dobbs (1958) that features the same production team. Writer Kennedy, for example, specialized in tight, emotionally complex Westerns, such as the legendary Ranown series with Randolph Scott. Here, however, he has to accommodate a host of WB contract players, including Sunset Strip hipster Edd Byrnes. This results in an over-crowded, over-stretched slice of eye candy that dissipates impact over a series of climaxes.

Arguably the movie's most interesting feature is the way the relationship between Kelly (Walker) and Anse (Byrnes) is handled. Now, if the masterly muscular Kelly is added, on one hand, to the submissive pretty-boy Anse, on the other, the sum is two iconic stereotypes of the gay community. Of course, production could have plunked a hat on Byrnes like everyone else and lessened his looks. But that would have outraged fans of the teen idol whose trademark had become a comb. So, the visual earmarks remain.

At the same time, the screenplay puts this suggestive two-some into a wilderness cabin for the winter, where the big-hair half does womanly duties like cooking and cleaning, while the macho trapper brings home the bacon. So, together you've got an unmistakable situation for perceptive 50's audiences that putting a woman (Wahleeah) into the mix doesn't erase. Plus, these visual hints are compounded with the homo erotic bed scene that Dinky describes so well. My point is that toying with this taboo could not have been lost on the filmmakers, causing me, at least, to wonder what their reasoning was. After all, the Western is about the most macho of all movie genres.

It's worth noting that the movie's overall quality is not affected by this one aspect. In fact, none of this would be worth remarking on if the movie were not from the uptight 1950's, when the topic of same-sex attraction could not even be mentioned, e.g. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958). So in that sense, the film remains something of an oddity for its time. But the movie itself ranks a lot higher on the list of glamorized Westerns than on the list of compelling ones.


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