3:10 to Yuma
Directed by Delmer Davies
Written by Halsted Welles from a story by Elmore Leonard
Columbia Picture Corporation
Repeat viewing/Netflix rental
I love this. It may be Glenn Ford’s best performance. It is certainly my favorite of his.
Courtly, slick outlaw Ben Wade (Ford) holds up a stage coach. The driver gets too brave and is killed. The robbery is witnessed by Dan Evans and his sons. Wade scatters their cattle and steals their horses. Dan puts up no resistance, humiliating his sons. Wade and some of the men ride into the nearest town where Wade reports the robbery. While the sheriff is off investigating, he seduces the bar maid at the local saloon. While Wade is basking in his conquest, Dan tricks him into conversation and the sheriff is able to apprehend him.
Dan is in town because he is need of a loan to keep his drought-plagued ranch running. When he is denied the loan, he accepts the stage coach owner’s offer to escort the captive to the title train. The plan is to fool Wade’s men into believing they are going to another location.
Dan and Wade arrive at the station hotel in good order. They have a few hours to wait for the train. Wade uses them to needle and cajole his captor and test his courage.
This movie has a High Noon-type theme (the ticking clock, the brave man deserted) without that film’s gravitas. Ford’s performance as Wade is deliciously wicked and steals the film out from under the also-excellent Heflin. I was looking forward to this viewing and was not disappointed in the least. My husband loves it as well. Warmly recommended.