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3:10 to Yuma Reviews

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Daniel P

Super Reviewer

September 29, 2007
Much more human than the remake, I thought, and to the good, it's 20 minutes shorter. I say it's a good thing because this is a movie based on an Elmore Leonard story. James Mangold, in his remake, would do well to take the author's advice and "leave out the parts readers [viewers] tend to skip." I found Van Heflin more intense and more desperate as Evans than Russell Crowe was, and in the role of Ben Wade, Glenn Ford had a bad guy charm that Christian Bale never quite pulled off... as much as I like Bale, he's not really a charmer: as Batman, his Bruce Wayne is off, and in American Psycho, a film I love, you realize rather quickly that Patrick Bateman can't even hope to hide his sociopathic leanings. But back to the film at hand: other than the fact that 2007 was its 50th anniversary, I really don't understand why this one was remade. It's tight and well-acted, and though not a perfect film, it tells a simple story well and is enjoyable because of it.
Pierluigi P

Super Reviewer

April 19, 2009
Near perfect psychological western. Great confrontational scenes between Van Heflin and Glenn Ford, and pure suspense from start to finish.
flixsterman
flixsterman

Super Reviewer

January 17, 2009
Daring for a 1957 western. Off-beat and interesting, worth a watch, even if you're not a fan of the genre.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

January 10, 2009
This is one of the best westerns ever made, a good blend of subtle psychology and action with some taut editing. There isn't one moment of film wasted in this one.

I also believe that this is Van Heflin's best screen performance. His Dan Evans is an everyman in the west. A rancher struggling to get by and support his family, he happens to be a dead shot and together with that and his need for money, he agrees to take outlaw Ben Wade to Yuma Territorial Prison.

Glenn Ford's Ben Wade is a complex man. He's an outlaw and a killer, the first few minutes of the film establish that. But he's tired. He can easily get away. But the sight of Felicia Farr at that saloon, makes him pause and linger when he should be skedaddling with the rest of his gang. They shouldn't have been stopping at the saloon in the first place. But Ford needed some quiet time and his acting does convince you of his need for a breather.

Anyway Ford's nabbed and stage line owner Butterfield, played by Robert Emhardt offers a reward and Heflin needs the money. The only other one aiding Heflin is Henry Jones playing Alex Potter the town drunk. He's a comic character, when they stop at Heflin's ranch, Jones inquires of his two sons where Heflin might keep a jug handy. You laugh but Delmar Daves is very subtly setting you up for later heroics.

Ford and Heflin are together most of the film and they have good chemistry. Ford works on Heflin, he'd just as soon offer a bribe to get out of his fix and Heflin comes close to taking it.

The best scene in the film is when Heflin's wife Leora Dana comes after Heflin. She finds him hold up in a hotel with Ford handcuffed to the bed just after a shootout in which Henry Jones was killed. They talk, Heflin's not sure he's coming out of this and Dana tries to tell him to give it up. Earlier Robert Emhardt has also told him to give it up. But Heflin's sticking to his duty now. The comical town drunk has just been killed in a very brutal fashion for standing up for law and order and he couldn't look himself in the face if he shirked his responsibility.

Remember Heflin is no John Wayne type hero. He's your everyman citizen taking on responsibility for his community's safety. He and Dana play this beautifully and if you don't get an emotional response you are made of stone.

Van Heflin had already gotten an Oscar for Johnny Eager. But I think his performance here is even better. Why he was overlooked in the Academy sweepstakes in 1957 is beyond belief. It's Heflin's film and it's a great tribute to a very underrated actor.
jjnxn
jjnxn

Super Reviewer

March 27, 2008
Good character study with two well matched actors, wonderful scene between Van Heflin and Leora Dana, an interesting contrast to the recent remake.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

February 12, 2008
I started off really liking 3:10 to Yuma a lot and despite the fact this should've been made in color it was the ending that killed it for me. Glenn Ford was great and Van Heflin was pretty much negligible but the last 5 minutes are either leaving me incredibly hopeful for the remake or quaking in fear at the possibility that they didn't come up with something better. Terrible ending aside, not too shabby.
Sheldon C

Super Reviewer

February 7, 2008
Ends abruptly, and there isn't enough backstory and character development, in my opinion, The new one is better, but this one is still decent.
Jeffrey M

Super Reviewer

December 21, 2011
3:10 to Yuma is an excellent late 50's western in the vein of the phenomenal High Noon. The script and dialogue are all top notch, a very nuanced character study western set within a rather simple and confined story. The acting is also very strong, with an especially strong dynamic between Glenn Ford and Van Heflin. I would still put the 2007 remake ahead of it, featuring stronger action scenes and a stronger ending, but not by much.
Cameron W. Johnson
Cameron W. Johnson

Super Reviewer

June 21, 2011
And he's buying a Three-Ten to Yuma. That's probably my most difficult to figure out song reference yet and that's saying a lot considering that people have probably forgotten classic songs like "Stairway to Heaven" by now. Well, I'll go cry over the death of good music some other time. Right now let's discuss another classic. This picture translates the compellingness of the concept well, but still suffers from a lack of development and a periodic lack of engagement. In spite of this, it remains a compelling and primarily entertaining film supported by decent cinematography, good dialogue and carried by the solid performances of leads Glenn Ford and Van Heslin.

Of course the question on everyone's mind is "how does it fair against the remake?" Well, I believe that "re-imagining" is a more appropriate term to describe Mangold's 2007 version. The mood in the original is less consequential, not just because Mangold's version provides a deeper insight into the characters and their adventure, but because leading men and also powerhouse actors of their generation Russell Crowe and Christian Bale are more charismatic and seem more appropriate for the roles than the still respectable acting legends Glenn Ford and Van Heflin. I would say that we shouldn't be comparing, seeing as most classic performances haven't aged gracefully, but that wouldn't be right, because I'm not trying to compare the leading men in relation to acting ability. I'm comparing them in relation to the quality of the film and Mangold's version, being more tense, in-depth and consistent with more charismatic leading men is of higher storytelling quality. Honestly, as much as I've been comparing, Mangold's version remains more of a re-imagining and presents a new mood that seems to radically deviate from the original, almost to the point where I may as well be comparing "Cloverfield" to "Forrest Gump". Still, if we're looking at which film is better, Mangold's version - whether it be because filmmaking limitations have certainly been challenged in the 50-year gap between the versions or because the concept is finer - is superior to the original.

Still, when we get down to Delmar Daves' classic take on "3:10 to Yuma" on its own, it stands as a well-acted and generally enjoyable adventure that's worth experiencing.
Chris B

Super Reviewer

December 26, 2013
A psychological Western that, once established, lays down a thick layer of suspense and not until the last frame does it ease up. The film has some solid performances from it's leads Heflin and Ford and a good supporting cast to go with the original story.
William G

Super Reviewer

July 24, 2007
Solid cat-and-mouse Western holds up fine.
toejambaseball24
toejambaseball24

Super Reviewer

November 13, 2011
This story is just as compelling as the remake, which I saw first, and was a big fan of. Glen Ford and Van Heflin both give really strong performances, and the tension that I loved in the remake is also very much present in this original version.
Dracula787
Dracula787

Super Reviewer

July 19, 2008
I had already seen the 2007 remake with Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, and I was interested to see what the differences between the two. I was interested to find that the remake was pretty faithful to this original. I liked both of the stars of this and the cinematography is amazing. I also liked the ending of this a little better. Storywise, it's a fairly standard western, but it's got a lot of style, and that goes a long way.
cody f

Super Reviewer

July 14, 2008
Glen Ford is the shit!!! I really enjoyed this film. The ending and Glen Ford are better than the remake but I enjoyed the remake just as much. Alot of that has to do with the great Elmore Leonard story and dialogue.
Grifty G

Super Reviewer

July 13, 2008
Good film. Relies more on suspense than the remake. Glenn Ford is great in this, and the ending was more satisfying.
August 6, 2012
Good potboiler Western! Glenn Ford plays against type as a wily outlaw, Van Heflin brings great depth to the down-on-his-luck rancher. The mind games between the two waiting for a train culminates in an excellent, nuanced ending. Elmore Leonard's original story can be felt in the unique characters and interactions. Great cinematography!
August 6, 2012
More psychological than its 2007 remake, the original is what a good old western should be. The ending is a little too happy and sappy, but everything else is tight and simple. For and Heflin are great together.

Grade: A-
January 24, 2012
An excellent western that depicts the similarities and differences between an honest man and a con man.
Wolkenkaiser
December 1, 2011
I really enjoyed the two leading characters, both of whom are sympathetic despite the one being a bandit leader. Not the best Western, but a classic nonetheless, and thankfully somewhat more somber in town and psychological in nature than the average gunslinger.
heuer83
February 7, 2010
Ah, the classic western. Although somewhat of an acquired taste, once you develop that taste, you're hooked.

The story of Dan Evans and Ben Wade (played by Van Heflin and Glenn Ford, respectively), a poor farmer and a charismatic highwayman and the pursuit of justice, even when it's against all odds.

I saw this movie after having seen the remake starring Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, and, admittedly, that was a mistake. The action packed sequences and amazing final shootout of that remake make the original seem slow and drawn out, even focused on the wrong parts of the story.

But, standing back, I see that the film, for it's time, really is amazing. Beautiful desert landscapes encompass a storyline that makes you feel ambivalent the entire time as to who you should be cheering for. Wade, although the clear antagonist of the story, is very charming, and compares to the depression era gangsters and bank robbers who, although criminals, were admired by the people.

Evans, on the other hand, also evokes sympathy, as the common man, struggling to make ends meet not only for himself, but for his family.

Most of the film takes place in the town of Contention, AZ, waiting for the train to Yuma. Here, Evans finally rallied my complete support when, despite being abandoned by the rest of his posse, insists on finishing the job because it's the right thing to do. Conversely, Wade loses support as he tries desperately to have Evans killed by his crew.

Overall, the film is a feel good movie, albeit devoid of action for about 80% of the time. If action is what you're craving, see the remake, which is a stance I rarely take, but in this instance, appropriate.
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