Over the past year I have done several recommendations for Western movies. Rather they be Junior Bonner (1972) with Steve McQueen (The Magnificent Seven) or The Mercenary (1968) with Franco Nero (The Fifth Cord). Now I stand by all of those recommendations, I mean each and everyone of those movies had it’s own sense of adventure and entertainment… But so far one of my favorite Western stars to date has to be Clint Walker (More Dead Then Alive)…
Why do I like Clint Walker? Well simply put, besides the fact that every western movie I have ever seen him in, has proven to be highly enjoyable, and extremely action packed… But besides that, I have to admit that Mr. Walker’s talent for being the understated ‘almost’ gentle giant, who could still put a man down, to be both amusing, and in some cases kind of enduring!
And the work that he did in Yellowstone Kelly (1959) was no different!
Written by: Burt Kennedy (Comanche Station) and Directed by: Gordon Douglas (Them!). Starring: Clint Walker, Edd Byrnes (Up Periscope), Andra Martin (Cheyenne), John Russell (Apache Uprising), Ray Danton (Deathmaster), Claude Akins (Hound-Dog Man), Gary Vinson (Sugarfoot) and Warren Oates (The Rise And Fall Of Legs Diamond)
This movie which is based on the novel by: Heck Allen (Journey To Shiloh), tells the legend of the trailblazing pioneer, Luther ‘Yellowstone’ Kelly (Walker). Now Yellowstone Kelly was a trapper by trade and at one point an Indian Scout and a Surveyor for the U.S. Army!
Now the movie starts off with Yellowstone as a loner trapper and fur trader who does all of his animal trapping on Sioux Indian territory. Now just before Winter is to set in, Yellowstone heads up to Fort Buford to do some trading with the Animal pelts that he had managed to get a hold of earlier that year! During this time he meets a boy by the name of Anse Harper (Byrnes).
Now Harper is a boy that is just trying to make it through the world, and has decided that his next place of employment would be working with Yellowstone… Now after Anse introduces himself, Anse decides to buy Yellowstone a drink (which he accepts kind of guardedly…)
Now during this time Yellowstone is pulled aside by a Lieutenant (Vinson), in the U.S. Army. Now the Lieutenant leads him over to his superior officer by the name of Major Towns (Played by: Rhodes Reason). You see Major Towns is going to be taking command of Fort Buford and wants to push the Sioux back to the Dakotas…
Well Yellowstone of course declines and heads off to the main deck of the steamer, where, when the boat arrives at Fort Buford, Yellowstone and all of the other passengers disembark…
Now while at Fort Buford, Yellowstone runs up against a couple of soldiers that are being led by a Sergeant (Akins), who decide to tease Yellowstone about his Indian ancestry! This is the time when Anse decides to show his mettle to Yellowstone, and Anse decides to attack the Soldier’s for disrespecting Yellowstone like that!
After this Yellowstone is quite impressed and decides to join in the brawl… (Yellowstone is actually so impressed that he decides to hire Anse on for the Winter!)
Now with this in mind, Anse and Yellowstone start making their way back to Yellowstone’s little ranch; on their way though they are attacked by a couple of Sioux Indians who have decided to kidnap Yellowstone for his medical aid! You see, once they make it to the Sioux Camp, they come to discover that there is a captured Indian squaw from another tribe by the name of Wahleah (Martin) who has been shot!
After Yellowstone gets the bullet out of her and bandages her up, Anse and Yellowstone continue on their way…
The next day, Wahleah comes in to Yellowstone’s ranch on a horse that she had stole from her Sioux captors… Well needless to say, both the chief of the tribe by the name of Gall (Russell) and his nephew (who had kidnapped her in the first place) were not happy about this and took off after her…
Well Yellowstone is able to convince Gall (despite his nephew’s objections) to leave Wahleah with Yellowstone and Anse!
Now with this strangely captivating yet sick Indian woman to deal with. Both Anse and Yellowstone in their need to protect Wahleah from Gall’s agressively jealous nephew and Gall himself, will end up allowing Yellowstone Kelly to go down in history as one of the trailblazers to help map the west!
Now with all of this in mind, what I like about this movie is that, I thought the cast in this movie (besides just Clint Walker) were fantastic! I mean everyone from Claude Akins to John Russell and everyone in between just did a fantastic job!
Anyway, for another great Clint Walker western, I gotta say this one is a great one and if you get a chance, check it out! You might like it!
Unfortunately there is no credits but I thought that you guys might enjoy the first couple minutes of the movie: