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Westerns - 3:10 to Yuma

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3:10 to Yuma
Glenn Ford, Van Heflin, Felicia Farr
Directed by Delmer Daves
Based on a story by Elmore Leonard
Black and white
Columbia 1957
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2007
92 minutes

3:10 to Yuma is your classic American western DVD with an immediately and clearly defined good guy, Van Heflin, and bad guy, the great Glenn Ford. This is not a shoot ‘em up movie but a great psychological thriller about two strong-willed men, the difference between right and wrong, and standing up for who you are and your word. The 3:10 to Yuma Special Edition DVD, released in time for the movie's remake starring Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, does not feature much special edition material unless you call a preview of the new movie a special feature. Fortunately, special edition means a remastered western DVD and it looks really good.

3:10 to Yuma stars Glenn Ford Ben Wade. During one of his stagecoach robberies he encounters Dan Evans, a poor farmer, and his two sons. They are unwilling witnesses to the robbery and Wade's callousness and strong cowboy values. Wade shames Evans (Van Heflin) in front of his sons and makes him feel helpless, a helplessness Evans already feels considering his cattle farm is going under because of a drought.

Wade gets captured and Evans, needing the money being offered, volunteers to escort the Glenn Ford character to the authorities in a complicated bait and switch plan to get Wade's gang off the scent. Wade and Evans find themselves holed up together in Contention City waiting for the 3:10 train to Yuma that will get Wade to prison. They also find themselves alone with their values and beliefs. Wade tries to buy Evans off or scare him off, Evans tries to stick to his belief of right and wrong, both are waiting for some kind of deliverance; Wade from his gang, Evans from the train's arrival: this is psychological thriller aspect of 3:10 to Yuma.

There are many things to like about this classic American western DVD. The acting is of course superb but the writing is most certainly above par. There is a comic element in this movie that comes not only from the town drunk and Evans' two young sons but from some of the situations in the film itself, such as when the Wade gang first rides into town and sends the sheriff and his posse on a wild goose chase after the gang that robbed the stagecoach.

What really makes 3:10 to Yuma is the confrontation between Glenn Ford and Van Heflin and both men's respect for the old fashioned cowboy way. If you like westerns, this is a great DVD.

Kindle DX, Free 3G, 3G Works Globally, Graphite, 9.7" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology