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3:10 To Yuma

USA 2007
Directed by
James Mangold
122 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

3:10 To Yuma (2007)

James Mangold’s remake of the 1957 original of the same name is a considerable improvement on what was already a decent if rather hobbled attempt at an adult approach to the genre. Whilst that film shared in the moral idealism of High Noon, this version is closer in sensibility to the sombre fatalism of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven.

Christian Bale plays struggling farmer Dan Evans who in order save his drought-ravaged farm from foreclosure and win back the respect of his family takes on escorting the ruthless outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) to board the 3:10 train to Yuma Prison.

Mangold’s version follows the main outline of the 1957 version (the most notable variation is the introduction of Dan's 14-year-old son, William (Logan Lerman) as a significant character) but on every level it is a superior film. A top drawer production it gives us a highly effective portrait of the near-civilized West as the railroad presses forward across the country and it wisely provides more action than did the original. Most importantly, however, it benefits from a more compelling relationship between the two main characters, both convincing portrayed by Bale and Crowe, the latter in his element. Ben Foster is particularly good as the vicious killer Charlie Prince whilst Peter Fonda plays a grizzled soldier of fortune.

Perhaps because it was a remake, perhaps because of its seamless professionalism, 3:10 To Yuma was somewhat under-rated at the time of its release. It deserves to better known.






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