3:10 To Yuma [Blu-ray]
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In Arizona in the late 1800s, infamous outlaw Ben Wade (Crowe) and his vicious gang of thieves and murderers have plagued the Southern Railroad. When Wade is captured, Civil War veteran Dan Evans (Christian Bale), struggling to survive on his drought-plagued ranch, volunteers to deliver him alive to the "3: 10 to Yuma," a train that will take the killer to trial. On the trail, Evans and Wade, each from very different worlds, begin to earn each other's respect. But with Wade's outfit on their trail -- and dangers at every turn -- the mission soon becomes a violent, impossible journey toward each man's destiny.
Here's hoping James Mangold's big, raucous, and ultrabloody remake of 3:10 to Yuma leads some moviegoers to check out Delmer Daves's beautifully lean, half-century-old original. That classic Western spun a tale of captured outlaw Ben Wade (Glenn Ford)--deadly but disarmingly affable--and the small-time rancher and family man, Dan Evans (Van Heflin), desperate enough to accept the job of helping escort the badman to Yuma prison. Wade, knowing that his gang will be along at any moment to spring him, works at persuading the ultimately lone deputy to accept a bribe, turn his back on "duty," and go home safe and rich to his family. That the outlaw has come to admire his captor intriguingly complicates the suspense.All of the above applies in the new 3:10, but it takes a lot more huffing and puffing to get Wade (Russell Crowe this time) and Evans (Christian Bale) into position for the showdown. Mostly, more is less. To Mangold's credit, his movie doesn't traffic in facile irony or postmodern detachment; it aims to be a straight-up Western and deliver the excitement and charisma the genre's fans are starved for. But recognizing that contemporary viewers might be out of touch with the bedrock simplicity and strength of the genre--not to mention its code of honor--Mangold has supplied both Evans and Wade with a plethora of backstory and "motivations." At the overblown action climax, the crossfire of personal agendas is almost as frenetic as the copious gunplay. (By that point the movie has killed more people than the Lincoln County War.) Best thing about the remake is Russell Crowe's Ben Wade, a Scripture-quoting career villain with an artist's eye and a curiously principled sense of whom and when to murder. As his second-in-command, Ben Foster fairly pirouettes at every opportunity to commit mayhem, and Peter Fonda contributes a fierce portrait of an old Wade adversary turned bounty hunter for the Pinkerton detective agency. --Richard T. Jameson
- Aspect Ratio : 2.40:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medR R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 7.75 x 5.75 x 0.5 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Item model number : 22189
- Director : James Mangold
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Blu-ray, Widescreen
- Run time : 2 hours and 2 minutes
- Release date : January 8, 2008
- Actors : Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Ben Foster, Peter Fonda
- Subtitles: : Spanish, English
- Studio : Lionsgate
- ASIN : B000XRO3MQ
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #11,192 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Films generally vary from and interpret the original work on which they are based. The 1957 film changed many details of Leonard's story but captured its spirit. The 2007 film does not take a new look at Leonard's story; instead it works from the 1957 film which, in its turn, it interprets and modifies. The two films have essentially the same plot but the latter film adds many details and scenes. It runs about one-half hour longer than the 1957 film.
Both films tell the story of a struggling rancher who becomes involved in taking a violent outlaw, Ben Wade, from Bisbee to Contention, Arizona and putting him on a train to the notorious Yuma prison. Both films also follow Leonard's story in emphasizing the developing relationship between the outlaw and the man hired to bring him in. The 2007 film intensifies and exaggerates the story. For example, in the 2007 film, the rancher is not only poor and struggling, but he has only one leg as a result of an injury he sustained during the Civil War. At virtually every turn, the 2007 film is more violent and has more people being killed than does its predecessor.
The largest difference between the two films is one of tone. In both films, the outlaw and the ranger form a grudging respect for each other. Both films explore honor, loyalty, and courage and proving oneself, as the rancher feels he must regain his own self-respect as well as the respect of his wife and two sons. The 1957 film focuses on these positive elements. The 2007 film, however, is nihilistic and pessimistic. The values of honor, honesty, and courage are present, but they are rendered almost meaningless by the level of violence and senseless killing in the film, both in the climactic final scene and throughout. The 2007 film is what has become known as a "revisionist" western. It takes the values and ideals of the traditional western from the early 1960s and before and questions them and even stands them on their heads. The violence of the film is far more meaningless and pointless than heroic. Thus the 2007 film, while telling the same story, has a different view of its meaning than its predecessor film or Leonard's story. The difference, of course, is largely due to a change in social norms between 1957 and 2007, and with the rise of cynicism and skepticism about earlier ideals.
It is valuable to watch both films and to see their similarities and differences. Both films are well-acted with established stars and have realistic scenery and an enhancing musical score. Both films create a sense of dramatic tension as the story unfolds. Both films are outstanding, in the different messages they convey, and they compliment each other and Leonard's story..
I found it a worthwhile and enjoyable use of time during the current pandemic to watch both versions of "The 3:10 to Yuma", and to think about both films and about the United States and about changing ways to understand our country and the West, through the context of the western.
The trip is obviously a vehicle for the action in the film. Wade tries to escape, they run into all kinds of perils, etc. The movie does a good job ramping up the tension the closer they get to the station until the big climax.
The theme turns out to be about honor and respect. Will Evans follow through with his promise to take Wade to the station as the pressure mounts and his chance of dying increases? Evans and Wade also form a relationship as the latter understands the circumstances that drove Evans to take this dangerous job. It’s a great modern western.
Top reviews from other countries
3:10 To Yuma is directed by James Mangold and co-adapted to screenplay by Halsted Welles, Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. A remake of Delmer Daves' 1957 film of the same name, it's based on a story written by Elmore Leonard. It stars Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Peter Fonda, Ben Foster and Logan Lerman. Music is by Marco Beltrami and cinematography by Phedon Papamichael.
After the capture of notorious outlaw Ben Wade (Crowe), a posse is put together to escort him to the town of Contention from where he will be put on the 3:10 train to Yuma prison. Joining this posse is broke rancher Dan Evans (Bale), disabled in the Civil War, Dan is struggling to keep hold of his land and to support his family. Seen as a flop in the eyes of his eldest son William (Lerman), Dan sees this opportunity as a way out of his problems. But with Wade an intelligent foe, and the outlaw boss' gang on their trail, Evans and the posse will do well to make it to Contention alive....
Daves' original film is a fine effort, very much pulsing with psychological beats and cloaked in claustrophobic atmospherics. Backed up by two excellent Western performers in Glenn Ford and Van Heflin, there is many a Western fan who cherish it and never felt it was a genre piece ripe for a remake; myself included. But the logic behind the reasons Mangold and his team put forward for remaking it made sense. A story of great thematics for the adults, and action a go-go for the younger modern film fan. Thus putting a Western back in the headlines at yet another time when the genre was gasping for air. All that was left to do was get two of the modern era's biggest stars to play Wade and Evans-which of course they duly did-and it was good to go. Just don't mess it up was all that was asked of the makers.
Running at nearly half an hour longer than the original, Mangold's movie slots in a new mid-section and changes the ending. The former works a treat as the posse venture through hostile Apache country, meet some ne'er-do-well railroad ruffians and Wade's gang, led by the supremely fiendish Charlie Prince (Foster), are on the bloody trail. The latter is a huge misstep, both in execution and character development. Most film fans are happy to suspend disbelief in the name of good entertainment, but here we are asked to ignore some impossible athletics while also being asked to swallow a character turn around that beggars belief. Such a shame because up till then the blend of traditional Western character themes such as morality and redemption, had dovetailed nicely with the pistol banging and all round breezy action construction. While the father and son axis gives the narrative some extra bite.
Even bad guys love their mothers
The performances are also of a high standard. In the support slots Fonda, Foster and Lerman are top dollar. Fonda is all leather faced and gruff as bounty hunter McElroy, Foster does a quality line in sneering villainy, and Lerman, in a tricky role, utterly convinces as the conflicted boy breaking out into a man. But this is Crowe and Bale's movie. Crowe has Wade as an intelligent dandy, a man who loves and understands women, an artist who also has a tongue as quick as his hands are on his guns. We know that Wade is callous, but Crowe ensures that we never know what is around the corner or truly on his mind. Bale puts much dignity into Evans, he's a put upon man, tortured by his failings on the home front, but there is stoic nobility there and as he and Wade venture further on their journey, a grudging respect begins to form and Bale and Crowe really start to put credibility into their characters. And then that last quarter nearly undoes all their excellent work....
In spite of this, 3:10 To Yuma is a good time to be had as a modern Western production with old traditional values. Energetic and never dull from first frame to last, it's recommended on proviso you don't mind unscrewing your head and taking out your brain for the last 15 minutes. 7.5/10
From the start Dan Evans(Christopher Bale) is being tortured on the rack which makes up his mind: his barn is burned out and he is deeply in debt to the local empire-builder; his eldest child doesn't respect him, his wife has clearly resigned herself to second-best and, as is revealed later, he is living a lie from which he cannot escape. Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) lives in command of himself and his surroundings; he can calmly draw a bird while awaiting a stage robbery and, just as calmly, kill one of his own gang who gets in the way. Hubris destroys him as he is caught in dalliance with a local girl. However, even in handcuffs, he asserts himself - flirting with Dan's wife, brutally murdering the obnoxious Tucker and pitching the bounty hunter, McIntyre, over a cliff. Who is really in charge of the journey to Contention to catch the 3:10 to Yuma?
In fact, that is when the film appears to lose itself, becoming simply the account of a trek, undertaken by the unlikely assortment of outlaw, homesteader, railway agent (Dallas Roberts as Butterfield), doctor and Evan's son (Logan Lerman as William) through arduous circumstances - mountainous tracks, apaches and a construction camp, housing old enemies of Ben Wade. Doc Potter is killed but the rest reach Contention and wait in a hotel for the train. Meanwhile Charlie Prince (Ben Foster), Wade's ruthlessly loyal lieutenant arrives with the gang and terrorises the township into becoming mere onlookers.
At that point, we're back on the original track but it doesn't last. I won't say what happens except I found it bordering on the incredulous, especially the murderous finale.
I enjoyed the film but not through what should have been a locked-in tension. It's violent with fine performances by the leads. I also enjoyed the playing of Henry Fonda (as McIntyre), Logan Lerman and, especially, Ben Foster. I'm giving it 4 stars because, although it doesn't really do `what it says on the tin'(to use a cliché), it certainly entertains.