Sep 102007
 

3:10 to YumaA small-time rancher agrees to hold a captured outlaw who’s awaiting a train to go to court in Yuma. A battle of wills ensues as the outlaw tries to psych out the rancher.

Director:
James Mangold

Genre:
Western, Action, Drama

Cast:
Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Logan Lerman, Dallas Roberts, Ben Foster, Peter Fonda, Vinessa Shaw, Alan Tudyk, Luce Rains, Gretchen Mol, Lennie Loftin, Rio Alexander, Johnny Whitworth, Shawn Howell, Pat Ricotti

We went to see this one Saturday night. While I was expecting a large crowd, the theater was not that packed. In 3:10 to Yuma, a few references to The Magnificent Seven and the idea of a train arriving at a specific time when good and bad guys converge, as in High Noon, made viewing this Glenn Ford remake from 1957 a pleasant one. 3:10 to Yuma is a true Western in the American film tradition about the 19th-century American West: It has clear heroes and villains (and a mixture of those), wide prairies, dirty towns, fast guns, weak lawmen, cunning murderers, kids trying to become adults, and women tending the home fires, just for starters.

Then ratchet up to the philosophical/post modern/post Eastwood reflections on the profession of being a gunman juxtaposed with being a responsible father, and you have a classic clash where villain has a wee bit of heart and hero an equal measure of cowardice. Delightfully mix in a certifiable baddie in the Jack Palance tradition, Ben Foster (Alpha Dog) as Wade’s amoral lieutenant Charlie Prince. There was plenty of suspense and some great camera work. All-in-all, a well done film.

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