The Yellow Mountain (1954) starring Lex Barker, Mala Powers, Howard Duff, William Demarest, John McIntire, Leo Gordon, Dayton Lummis directed by Jesse Hibbs Movie Review

The Yellow Mountain (1954)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Lex Barker and Howard Duff in The Yellow Mountain (1954)

Fool's Gold

Old friend Andy Martin (Lex Barker - Thunder Over the Plains) buddies up with Pete Menlo (Howard Duff) to work his gold claims in Nevada but finds there is conflict between them over a girl as whilst Pete is keen on Nevada Wray (Mala Powers) the daughter of mine-owner Jackpot (William Demarest) she is only keen on Andy. Upset by her rejection Pete allies himself with the crooked Bannon (John McIntire) who wants to combine mines but has been turned down in the past. When they discover that Jackpot may in fact be the rightful owner of all the gold due to the location of his mine Bannon plans to kill anyone in his way including Andy.

"The Yellow Mountain" starts with Andy riding in to town and marching into Pete's office and throwing punches at him. What follows is one of the worst stage brawls I have come across with two men throwing punches at each other with pretty much everyone looking pulled. It isn't realistic and little more than cheesy but then "The Yellow Mountain" is sadly one of those westerns which is full of cheese as rather than having a good storyline to tell or action to sell it is a vehicle for some handsome actors.

Mala Powers in The Yellow Mountain (1954)

Once you push beyond that cheesy vibrance and staged action "The Yellow Mountain" has little originality to back it up. We have a corrupt businessman looking to take control, we have a romantic rivalry between friends and a good guy who joins the dark side only to realise his mistake. It is all typical stuff and with little done to make it any more interesting than it was the last time you watched it in another western.

What this all really means is that "The Yellow Mountain" is nothing more than a vehicle for its cast and if back in 1954 you wanted to watch some handsome stars in a western it ticked the boxes. Lex Barker and Howard Duff are handsome whilst Mala Powers is beautiful but that is all there is as their characters are purely stereotypical and not that interesting.

What this all boils down to is that "The Yellow Mountain" rolls along delivering some typical action, some typical story, some typical romance and some typical pretty much anything found in a 1950s western but that is all it does, rolls out typical and nothing more.