3:10 to Yuma
Directed by Delmer Daves. US. 1957. NR. 92 minutes. Sony. 35mm.
Sponsored by Humane Society of Berks County
Sun., September 8, 2013
This fascinating movie, written by the great Elmore Leonard, has a relatively simple Western plot: an outlaw is captured in a small town and a good, law-abiding rancher in need of money agrees to guard him until he departs for jail on the afternoon train. However, rather than play his customary role as the stoic hero, Glenn Ford chose to leave this role for Van Heflin and, instead, take on the part of the crafty, murderous outlaw. Of course, just like in High Noon, the hero is abandoned by the town officials, and has to deal with Fords sly, psychological manipulations, while at the same time having to stand off an outlaw gang desperate to spring their boss before the train arrives. As the tension mounts and the relationship between Ford and Heflin becomes more complex, this great western builds to an explosive and satisfying climax. (NOTE: Though 3:10 to Yuma was re-made 50 years later with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in, respectively, the Ford and Heflin roles, it never quite reaches the same level of tension and suspense found in this classic of its kind. Come see this original and find out why.) (Bill Roth)