William Wellman series at UCLA, with a double bill of two classic Westerns, WESTWARD THE WOMEN (1951) and YELLOW SKY (1948).
Both films were introduced by the director's son, William Wellman Jr., who loves both these films, especially WESTWARD THE WOMEN. When he returned to the podium to introduce the second film, YELLOW SKY, he was clearly still moved by the experience of seeing WESTWARD THE WOMEN again.
WESTWARD THE WOMEN went onto my list of favorite films quite some time ago, but nothing can match the power of this stirring film as seen on a big screen. When it was almost over I realized that, despite having seen this film multiple times, I had been completely, totally absorbed in the film; my mind never wandered once.
The movie is gritty, tough, and realistic, with a wonderful ensemble cast. The emotional payoff of the ending, after all that has gone before, brought well-earned tears to my eyes. This is a very, very special film.
Below is a gallery of images I've collected of the film, which stars Robert Taylor, Denise Darcel, and Julie Bishop, along with a large supporting cast. It was filmed in Kanab, Utah.
WESTWARD THE WOMEN is available on DVD from the Warner Archive. You can read more about the movie in my 2007 review. Most highly recommended.
Coming soon: A photo gallery for the other film on tonight's double bill, YELLOW SKY (1948). (Update: Here's the YELLOW SKY photo gallery.)