3.10 To Yuma

3.10 To Yuma is a 2007 American Western film directed by James Mangold and produced by Cathy Konrad. Starring Russell Crowe & Christian Bale, the movie also has a extremely decent supporting cast of Peter Fonda, Gretchen Mol, Ben Foster, Dallas Roberts, Alan Tudyk, Vinessa Shaw, Kevin Durand and Logan Lerman. The movie is a remake of the 1957 film and both are based on Elmore Leonard’s short story Three-Ten to Yuma.

The movie starts off with Dan Evans, a struggling ranch farmer who lives well outside of Bisbee town, getting his barn burned down in the middle of the night by men who work for Glen Hollander, to whom Dan owes money. The next morning Dan & his two sons are out with their herd when they see outlaw Ben Wade and his gang using Evans’ cattle as a road blockade to ambush an armored stagecoach staffed by Pinkerton agents. After looting the coach, Wade sees the 3 from the Evans’ family but as they pose no threat to him or his gang, the outlaw lefts the go free but takes their horses with him. He however does leave the horses further up the road on the way to Bisbee. At the town Wade, his second in command Charlie Prince, and the others have a celebratory drink at the local saloon after which Wade sleeps with the barmaid while Evans eventually arrives with lawmen from Bisbee and tries in vain to negotiate with Hollander. When Dan goes to the saloon to confront Hollander, he instead runs into Wade, who he distracts long enough for the railroad guards to ambush and arrest him. The coach’s owner, Grayson Butterfield, enlists McElroy, Potter, Tucker, one of Hollander’s guards, and Evans, who agrees for a $200 fee to deliver Wade for arrest. From Evans’ ranch, McElroy arranges a decoy wagon to distract Wade’s gang, now led by Charlie Prince. The real prisoner transport charts a course for Contention, where Wade will be put on the 3:10 afternoon train to Yuma Territorial Prison.

On the way to the station as they rest at night Wade, who has sneaked in a fork, kills Tucker and later McElroy by throwing him off a cliff. He almosts gets away from the others using a shotgun but William, Dan’s older son who dreams of being a cowboy and who has followed the group, holds his gun on Wade and the men disarm him. Taking a shortcut through a canyon, which Wade warms them against, the group is attacked by Apaches who Wade kills and then he escapes to a Chinese construction camp. He is recognized by the foreman who has his captured and strung up Evans, William, Potter and Butterfield appear and regain custody of their prisoner, but Potter is killed in the process. The group arrives in Contention hours before the train’s arrival time and check into a hotel, where several local marshals join them. However wade’s men also reach there & upon their arrival, they enlist the aid of numerous mercenary-minded citizens to secure Wade’s release. This leads the frightened Marshalls to go outside try and calm things down but they are killed on the spot. Evans is now alone and he entrusts his son’s safety, plus a 1000 dollars for delivering Wade to the train, to Butterfield. Evans & Wade evade the bullets and the outlaws and make their way to the station. Wade attacks Evans but relents when Evans tells him that this was about more than just money. He wanted to restore his pride give his sons something to be proud of; his leg injury was during a retreat in the Civil War sustained through friendly fire, a fact that had humiliated him ever since.

Most of the men being dead Wade agrees to be lead to the train as it pulls at the station. However as Wade boards the train and congratulates Evans, Charlie (the only remaining outlaw) shoots Evans fatally in the back, despite Wade’s order to stop. Wade then takes his gun which Charlie had tossed to him and kills Charlie. William appears and draws his gun on Wade but finds that he cannot kill him, instead turning to his dying father. Wade boards the train and politely surrenders his weapon. Evans eventually dies as Wade rides the train around a bend. He lets out a whistle, and his faithful horse pricks up his ears and gallops after the train while it is still gathering speed, perhaps with his old gang all dead he can now start life afresh.

Good film and an afternoon’s worth of entertainment. Luke Wilson also shows up for a brief couple of minutes before being killed off. I’m going to give it an 8 outta 10!

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