3:10 to Yuma (1957)

310 to yuma poster 1957 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Good looking Western

Pretty typical Western in style and presentation

Movie Info

Movie Name:  3:10 to Yuma

Studio:  Columbia Pictures

Genre(s):  Western/Drama

Release Date(s):  August 7, 1957

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

310 to yuma felicia farr glenn ford

Hey…ever date an outlaw?

Dan Evans (Van Heflin) is a cattle rancher who is down on his luck.  A long drought has pushed his farm to the limit and times are hard.  When he encounters Ben Wade (Glenn Ford) and his gang, he finds himself hired by Mr. Butterfield (Robert Emhardt) to get Ben Wade on the 3:10 train to Yuma…but Wade’s gang has other plans.  Out to prove himself to his children and his wife, Evans intends to get Wade to that train…even if it is the last thing he’ll do.

Directed by Delmer Daves, 3:10 to Yuma is a Western thriller.  The film is based on the Elmore Leonard story “Three-Ten to Yuma” first published in Dime Western Magazine (March 1953).  The film was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress in the National Film Registry in 2012 and the Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the film (Criterion #657).

I admit that I saw 3:10 to Yuma after the 2007 remake.  While both films are good, the original film is less of an action film and more of a drama.

310 to yuma hotel van heflin glenn ford

5 Star Hotel in Western terms…

Despite being a Western, the movie has rather limited gunfights.  The shootout at the beginning is almost over when Dan and his family arrive, and Ben is taken into custody without a fight.  The end battle is rather slow paced but taut as Ben and Dan make their way to the train station…it is less about shooting and more about psychology.  The odd bond between Ben and Dan is what drives the film along with the moral question of what is right and what is wrong.

Van Heflin is good as the almost pacifist Dan who knows how to fight but always backs down.  Glenn Ford is the prodding Ben Wade.  He’s a bit of an enigma.  He goes along with being arrested and outwardly encourages Dan when he could easily take him or have his men take him.  It is a strange cat-and-mouse game that leaves Ben and Dan as an antagonistic super-team.  They are joined by Robert Emhardt as the banker trying to hire Dan and Leora Dana as Dan’s wife Alice.

310 to yuma van heflin glenn ford ending train

You’re getting on that train

The black and white film looks great.  The movie could have easily been bright and colorful, but instead, the film is stark and has a classic look.  The movie used a lot of the Old Tucson set in Arizona for the setting (which was used for tons and tons of films), but the film also used a lot of other different locations around Arizona.

3:10 to Yuma is a Western, but it feels a bit more accessible and modern than some of the other Westerns of the period.  The movie is interesting because it is about the relationship between a criminal and his confiner…and how they can both end up on the same side.  3:10 to Yuma was adapted against in 2007.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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