3:10 to Yuma: Released 2007
The remake of the 1957 classic with the same title "3:10 to Yuma" directed by James Mangold and released in 2007 did not follow the same script as the 1957 classic "3:10 to Yuma" starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin. Very little was the same. Even the characters were portrayed differently. All in all, this film stood out on its own. It was a pleasant surprise since my husband and I had seen the original 1957 version many times. The remake was refreshing with spectacular Western special effects, and had nearly an all-star cast, superb in their performances. This movie has a "surprise" ending that is nothing like the 1957 version; very unexpected!
The new "3:10 to Yuma" is a psychological thriller that leads its viewers into understanding the outlaw mind set of the Old West. "3:10 to Yuma" takes place after the Civil War. The rancher, Dan Evans (Christian Bale), has moved his family out west after losing a leg in the Civil War and is having typical ranching hardship of the Old Wild West. He owes money, and fears losing his ranch. "3:10 to Yuma" begins with Rancher Dan Evans barn being burned down and his cattle are frightened away. His two sons, William (Logan Lerman) and Mark (Ben Petry), accompany their father on horseback to collect the cattle and herd them back to their ranch. This places the three of them precariously in sight of a stagecoach robbery where their cattle are being used by outlaws. They try not to be noticed, but Ben Wade (Russell Crowe), the leader of the outlaw gang, notices them and insists on borrowing their horses. Not wanting trouble and in need of collecting the cattle that survived participating in the robbery, they comply with Ben Wade. This precipitates a series of events that lead up to Ben Wade becoming arrested, then Dan Evans volunteering to make certain Ben Wade definitely makes the 3:10 p.m. train to the Yuma Penitentiary that stops at the train station in a town that takes several days by horse to reach. Dan Evans needs the money to save his ranch and feed his family. All know this is a suicide mission because they expect Wade's outlaw gang to rescue Wade. Ben Wade preys on their expectations by telling them they can count on his gang coming for him and that they will die.
Throughout "3:10 to Yuma" outlaw Ben Wade tries to talk to his captives, press their buttons to make them react angrily or try to harm him. This outlaw is suave with the ladies, shows he has impeccable manners, knows how to treat a lady, and uses his charisma to get what he wants. We learn as the plot thickens that Ben Wade is well versed with the Bible, actually has read it cover to cover. We see him being charming and not "such a bad guy", but as Ben Wade told William, the rancher's eldest, "I am not a good man. I would not be leader of those animals who are my gang if I were." Ben Wade is the ultimate schemer who will do anything to escape; even if it means socializing and saving his captors from Indians. What a guy! Hat's off to Russell Crowe for pulling off being Ben Wade by employing his excellent acting skills! Very impressive! Mr. Crowe proved he can play any type of part well (hero or villain).
Other primary cast members included were: Gretchen Mol (Alice Evans, the rancher's wife), Peter Fonda (Byron McElroy, bounty hunter hired by the Pinkerton Agency), Dallas Roberts (Mr. Butterfield from the Pinkerton Agency), Vanessa Shaw (Emma Nelsen, Saloon Owner), Alan Tudyk (Doc Potter, Veterinarian), Luce Rains (Marshal Weathers), Lennie Loftin (Glen Hollinger, leader of henchmen who burned down Rancher Dan Evan's barn and helped with taking Ben Wade to train depot), Ben Foster (outlaw Charlie Prince), Rio Alexander (outlaw Campos), Shawn D. Howell (outlaw Jackson), Johnny Whitworth (outlaw Sarber), Ramon Prank (outlaw Rinter), and Pat Ricotti (outlaw Jacobsen). Note: all outlaws listed were in Ben Wade's gang.
"3:10 to Yuma" is rated R and on DVD. This movie is 2 hours and 2 minutes in length. Highly recommend, especially to Western movie fans!