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USA 1957
Directed by
Delmer Daves
92 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

3:10 To Yuma (1957)

For its time, 3:10 To Yuma is a substantial Western. Adapted from a short story by Elmore Leonard, in the spirit of High Noon it depicts a classic scenario of one good man facing down the forces of evil. The good man is struggling rancher Dan Evans (Van Heflin) who to provide for his wife and two boys takes the job of escorting ruthless outlaw Ben Wade (Glenn Ford) to the 3:10 train to Yuma Prison.

Although the pace is a little slow given the amount of enforced inactivity as the two men wait for the train and there are minor incongruities in the plot, director Daves does a solid-enough job of drawing the clash of wills between the two main characters, giving them depth but without ever really galvanizing their conflict into something compelling (the 2007 remake was much more effective in this, and most other, respects). Whilst Evans as your decent upright provider may be given to momentary lapses into temptation, the character of Wade is somewhat unconvincing as the murderous leader of a gang of roughnecks on the one hand, perpetually smiling charmer on the other, not to mention inexplicably co-operative when the final dash to the train comes, leaving the conventions of the time the main winner.

Staidness not withstanding, 3:10 To Yuma is a commendable addition to the Western inventory.




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