4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Classic revisionist western,
This review is from: 3.10 To Yuma [DVD]  (DVD)
Peaceful farmer Dan (Van Heflin) stumbles across a wagon robbery in which infamous thief and murderer Ben Wade (played by the great Glenn Ford) shoot and murders an innocent man, so Dan flees with his two sons. When Wade and his gang arrive in his town, he is forced to decide whether to do what's right or to think about the safety of his family. Wade's gang temporarily leave town leaving Wade to romance a lonely barmaid, until he is captured by the authorities. When Dan is offered a substantial amount of money to transport Wade to the train station where he can catch the 3:10 to Yuma to face trial, he must come up with a plan to avoid being killed by the soon to be returning gang.
Joining a long list a classic revisionist westerns alongside John Ford's My Darling Clementine and Fred Zinnemann's High Noon, the west isn't used as a primary focus for the story, but instead western elements are used to assist a different type of story. 3:10 To Yuma doesn't usually feature in those ridiculous 'Best Movies of blah blah...' lists but deserves it's place amongst the very best westerns. Similar to another genre classic Johnny Guitar, the good and bad guys are not so easy to disassociate. Here, the big 'baddie' Wade is somewhat likable, and has an admiration for the dedication of the nervous and initially almost cowardly 'hero' Dan. It's also damn exciting and every bit as tense as High Noon. It was recently remade starring Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, which I have yet to see, but I doubt it will capture the old- school spirit of this.