Thursday, April 14, 2011

Yellow Sky: The Mine (The Alabama Hills Series)

(GPS: N36 36.130 W118 06.865)

The mine in Yellow Star: Again, everything I have shown in the past few blogs is relatively close to each other. This is the furthest out from where the house and barn were in the movie, but no more than a five minute walk. All the Alabama Hills scenes were in the same area. Most movies that were filmed here go off to different areas for their scenes. As you can see, there really wasn't a mine there after all. Most of the time a company would put in fake mine entrance like that. The thing to point out in the above picture, and maybe makes more sense by watching the video I did, is some of the tailings they used in the movie are still there from Yellow Star. That is what you see on the ground to the right. The movie picture of Gregory Peck confronting Richard Widmark and the rest of his old gang is taken just off the right side of the mine. I had thought I had a more recent picture of this, but I could not find it. The most recent time I was here I just shot the video and did not take pictures. So, I had to find a lower quality one from an older camera I did some years back. This should do to show you what it looks like these days.

One thing I have not mentioned in this blog entry that you might be wondering about is the arrastra used in the movie. I have covered that before in an older blog that I will link below. It is hard to believe it has been three years since I did that. The video covers both the mine and the arrastra.

YS: The Arrastra (Youtube Version)

YS: The Arrastra (Vimeo Version)

The Arrastra blog entry

So, if you have not seen the movie Yellow Sky, then I hope you do. The cinematography here was really well done. Budd Boetticher once said you just can't get a bad shot filming at the Alabama Hills. That's why it was such a popular movie destination back then. Somewhere on one of those imdb message boards I read sometime back was a criticism that made me role my eyes. It was that although the movie was really good in every area it was too bad it was filmed in black and white. Have no fear since some people quickly responded and ripped him for saying that. While it might have worked in color too, the black and white really gives it a film noir western look to it. There is a certain beauty and advantages to filming in black and white.

Finally, if you are ever at the Lone Pine Film Festival, then the Yellow Sky tour is one of the basic tours you can do. The guy who does it is really good and knowledgeable about the film and the locations.