3:10 to Yuma

Russell Crowe's great western movie

I had high hopes for 3:10 to Yuma even before I went to see it. After all, how can you really go wrong with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in a western? But it was a lot more than just a good movie. It was a great movie and I ended up seeing it twice on opening weekend.

Russell Crowe is excellent as outlaw Ben Wade, bringing full measures of charisma, menace and charm. Christian Bale, of course, is his usual incredible, intense self, allowing the role to swallow him whole. The actors also have a crackling sparkly energy together that makes both performances better than either would have been on their own, but that said, Crowe owns this movie.

The rest of the supporting cast is also excellent, especially Ben Foster playing Wade’s second in command, Charlie Prince, and he ends up chewing scenery with a ravenous appetite for mayhem.

3:10 to Yuma Official Trailer

Ben Wade

Russell Crowe needs to playing the charming, menacing bad guy a lot more often because he is perfect -- especially since they have him dashingly dressed almost entirely in black with black leather gloves, a jaunty cap, perfect facial hair, perfect smirk, a black horse even! The second time I went to see the movie, I paid more attention to the visuals just to see how they present Ben Wade and it turns out I was correct in my previous recollection -- he is the only character dressed entirely in black in the entire movie. Visually, it makes him stand out significantly because both the scenery and the clothing worn by other characters are drab and neutral in color and tone.

Favorite movie of 2007

One of the other great things about this movie is that it is serious, but it doesn't take itself too seriously.

There's lots of great one liners and really satisfyingly vicious murders. Midway through the movie, the pacing can be a bit slow here and there, but overall the film proceeds with a deft elegance.

There aren’t a lot of westerns I find myself able to watch over and over again, but 3:10 to Yuma is going on my “buy” list as soon as it hits DVD. -- Make that BOUGHT list as I picked it up the day it came out! :)

Get it on Amazon

Elmore Leonard

Both the original movie in 1957and the 2007 remake of 3:10 to Yuma are based on an Elmore Leonard short story, written before he became best known for writing crime fiction.

The audio cd of this featured collection of Elmore Leonard Western short stories features Henry Rollins reading Three-Ten to Yuma.

"Three-ten to Yuma:" Deputy Paul Scallen will earn his one hundred fifty dollars if he can get his prisoner Jim Kidd on the train to Yuma Prison. But the members of Kidd's gang have determined that Scallen won't live long enough to make the Three-Ten to Yuma.

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