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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

3:10 To Yuma (1957)

After a stage is robbed and a driver killed, the outlaw (Glenn Ford) responsible is captured. The plan is to get the outlaw to a different town and then on the 3:10 to Yuma where he'll go on trial but first, he has to get on that train. A rancher (Van Heflin) in need of money takes on the responsibility of taking him to the town and the train but the bandit's gang are intent on rescuing their leader. This is a beauty of a western, one of the jewels of the 1950s proliferation of westerns. Based on a short story by Elmore Leonard and directed superbly by Delmer Daves. There's a beautiful simplicity and starkness to 3:10 TO YUMA, richly enhanced by Charles Lawton Jr.'s Spartan cinematography. The film's most powerful moments aren't the gunfights or action but the quieter moments that gives detail to the characterizations. For instance, the lovely quiet interlude between Ford and a barmaid (Felicia Farr) that could have easily been eliminated since it doesn't move the plot forward but the film would be all the less richer for it. Even the most shocking moment, the killing of Henry Jones is done off screen. For anyone who loves westerns, no doubt you've already seen it but even the non-western fans should avail themselves of this one. With Leora Dana, Richard Jaeckel and Robert Emhardt. 

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