Hollywood was famous for its western classics back in the 6os. Yellowstone Kelly is one such American Western movie released in the year 1959. Gordon Douglas directed the film with a screenplay by Burt Kennedy. Yellowstone Kelly was in talks upon its release for having an amazingly popular star cast which we will get to in the article in a bit. It is based upon a novel by Heck Allen, who used his pen name Clay Fisher in the movie credits. The film was notable for the cast of then-popular shows like Cheyenne, Lawman, 77 Sunset Strip, and The Alaskans.
The novel is based on the real-life events of Luther Kelly, where the movie got its title from. The film was firstly announced in August 1956, with John Wayne as the lead. After his other professional commitments coincided with this project, Wayne dropped out of the script. The public received the movie decently, and it did “fairly well” in theatres.
Yellowstone Kelly Storyline
Trapper Yellowstone and his partner Anse Harper meet a sick woman Arapaho Wahleeh. Upon further conversation, they know that Wahleeh is a captive of Sioux Chief Gall, who he desires. In addition to Gall, his nephew Sayapi also wants to marry Wahleeh. Kelly takes care of injured Wahleeh and promises to hand her to Gall upon her recovery. Elsewhere, Sayapi vows to kill Gall and abduct Wahleeh for his keeping. When Wahleeh fully recovers, she wishes to return to her own home. She wants to be free from the clutches of both Gall and Sayapi.
Meanwhile, Kelly and Wahleeh have grown close and developed feelings for each other. Kelly returns home one day to a burning house and his injured partner. Soon it is revealed that Sayapi did this and is killed by kelly. The movie ends with a showdown between Gall and Kelly, where the former finally returns. Kelly and Wahleeh live together.
The cast of Yellowstone Kelly
The complete cast of the movie Yellowstone Kelly is as follows:
- 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 Corpora
Also Read: One Hour Photo Filming Locations
Filming locations- Yellowstone Kelly
The movie was primarily shot in and around Arizona, USA. The movie’s shooting commenced on 7 April 1959 by the whole cast and crew. The film especially follows rural and muddy landscapes, which came to be associated with the movie’s aesthetics. The final battle scene was a key moment as the movie’s climax. The complete list of the filming locations is as follows:
- Coconino National Forest, Arizona, USA
- Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
- Sedona, Arizona, USA
- San Francisco Peaks, Arizona, USA (final battle scene)
The San Francisco Peaks are a very popular filming location among the directors. Major movies like The Revenant and Grand Canyon were also shot here!