3:10 to Yuma (Original-1957)  » Movies  »
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  • With the removie of due out on video any day I thought I'd prepare by watching and reviewing the original movie done fifty years ago
  • The best thing about the movie is the theme song sung by Frankie Laine also familiar for the theme song for the television series Rawhide
  • Unfortunately, since the threat of man versus man has been delayed, the only threat to build the plot on is man versus himself

    • by tfedge
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      With the removie of due out on video any day I thought I’d prepare by watching and reviewing the original movie done fifty years ago. “3:10 to Yuma” was a Columbia Picture, shot in black and white, something I really like, and lasting 91 minutes, also something I like. I tend to think current directs exaggerate their importance by making movies far longer than they need to be. A tagline describes the movie, “the Lonesome Whistle of a Train… bringing the gallows closer to a desperado–the showdown nearer to his captor!” What a thriller this movie promises to be. Major stars and the threat of violence heightened by a time deadline. Everyone knows something will happen before 3:10.

      Ben Wade (Glenn Ford) is the leader of an outlaw gang operating in Arizona Territory. When he is captured after a stage robbery local authorities know his gang will return and destroy the town to save him. Dan Evans (Van Heflin), is promised a reward to get him to the 3:10 train to Yuma where Wade will


      be tried and imprisoned. The movie is the story of Wade and Evans. Wade calmly waits for his gang to arrive, Evans becomes increasingly nervous as the deadline approaches.

      Glenn Ford is another one of those Canadian actors who migrated to the states and made movies. Ford made more than a hundred movies. Ford first appeared in movies in 1937. His last performance was more than fifty years later. In between he stared in some great movies, in 1956 he played returning veteran Richard Dadler, glad to be hired to teach English to inner city youth who didn’t want to learn. Sidney Poitier and Vic Morrow played leaders among the tough students. If this plot sounds familiar, it should, a decade later Sidney Poitier did the movie again, this time as the teacher in “To Sir with Love.” In 1961 Ford starred with Bette Davis in “A Pocketful of Miracles.” Frank Capra’s charming musicial drama featuring Apple Annie. In 1963 Glenn Ford played Tom Corbett, a single father in “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.” Ronnie ...


      • Howard played Eddie, the young boy who wants his father to remarry. The movie was done a few years later as a television series starring Bill Bixby as the sensitive, caring father, after “My Favorite Martian,” and before he became the alter ego of the Hulk.

        Van Heflin was a Hollywood feature actor for nearly forth years. He won a Best Supporting Actor for his role of Jeff Hartnett in Mervyn LeRoy’s “Johnny Eager,” a 1942 film noir classic. He is best known to me, and many Baby Boomers, as Joe Starrett the stubborn nester in “Shane” who fights with Alan Ladd against Ryker and his hired tough Jack Wilson (Jack Palance).

        Delmar Daves is a curiosity among Hollywood directors in the 1940s and 1950s. He directed thirty movies and was never nominated for an Academy Award. Apart from “3:10 to Yuma” he directed Glenn Ford in “Cowboy” an interesting but curious western co-starring Jack Lemmon as a hotel clerk who wants to be a cowboy and “Spencer’s Mountain,” the large screen treatment of Earl Hamner’s

        book that starred Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara and later became the television series “The Waltons.”

        “3:10 to Yuma” is not that good of a western. The best thing about the movie is the theme song sung by Frankie Laine also familiar for the theme song for the television series “Rawhide.” The movie doesn’t work well because it relies on the implied threat of the outlaw gang’s arrival before 3:10. Unfortunately, since the threat of man versus man has been delayed, the only threat to build the plot on is man versus himself. In this case Van Heflin doesn’t seem to struggle enough to make me struggle with him. Frankly I didn’t care whether he delivered Wade to the train or not. If you compare this to Van Heflin’s movie “Shane,” all three forms of conflict (man versus man, man versus nature, and man versus himself) are present and evoke empathy from the viewer. Unfortunately I found myself hoping 3:10 would arrive so the move would end sooner. I give the movie an 82% or a B-.




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