In 1953, writer Elmore Leonard published a short story in Dime Western Magazine. The story was made into a movie in 1957, starring Glenn Ford. In 2007, ‘Walk the Line’ director James Mangold tackled the story again. Originally set up with Tom Cruise and Eric Bana to star, when it was finally released in theaters, ‘3:10 To Yuma,’ starred Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.
The film opens with rancher Dan Evans facing another case of arson on his land after he fails to pay the banker his money back. Pushed to the brink, while out hunting, Evans runs into Ben Wade, who takes Evans and his sons’ horses. As Wade rides into town, Evans conspires with the sheriff to capture Wade. After they do, they need to get Wade to prison. They plan to put him on the 3:10 train to Yuma. However, they need to keep Wade in their custody and stay alive while waiting for the train.
The film is a simple premise: Wade’s posse tries to rescue him while killing as many people involved in keeping him captive. Evans does all he can to fight back and do what is right. The movie is also simple in that respect. No long dark night of the soul here- it’s just a solid, well-made, straight-ahead western. If you don’t like horse epics, look away, there’s nothing else to see here.
Both Christian Bale and Russell Crowe are solid in their performances. And the supporting cast, featuring Peter Fonda, Gretchen Mol and Vinessa Shaw are all stellar.
Basically, that’s it. If you like westerns, you’ll like ‘3:10 To Yuma.’ If you don’t like westerns, you won’t. Probably the simplest review I’ve yet to write. It’s a good solid film. It’s worth checking out. -Sam