|3:10 to Yuma|
|Directed by||James Mangold|
|Screenplay by||Halsted Welles|
|Based on||"Three-Ten to Yuma"|
by Elmore Leonard
|Produced by||Cathy Konrad|
|Edited by||Michael McCusker|
|Music by||Marco Beltrami|
Tree Line Film
|Box office||$71.2 million|
3:10 to Yuma is a 2007 American western action drama film directed by James Mangold and produced by Cathy Konrad, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in the lead roles with supporting performances by Peter Fonda, Gretchen Mol, Ben Foster, Dallas Roberts, Alan Tudyk, Vinessa Shaw, and Logan Lerman. It is about a drought-impoverished rancher (Bale) who takes on the dangerous job of taking a notorious outlaw (Crowe) to justice. It is the second adaptation of Elmore Leonard's 1953 short story "Three-Ten to Yuma", after the 1957 film of the same name. Filming took place in various locations in New Mexico. 3:10 to Yuma opened September 7, 2007, in the United States and received positive reviews from critics. It grossed $71 million worldwide on the budget of $48-$55 million.
In 1884 Arizona, Dan Evans is a poor rancher and Civil War veteran who owes money to the wealthy Glen Hollander. One night, Hollander's men burn down his barn and scatter his cattle as a warning to pay his debts. The next morning Evans and his two sons are searching for their lost herd when they stumble upon Ben Wade and his gang robbing an armored stagecoach staffed by Pinkertons. Wade sees Evans and his two sons watching from the hills and decides that they aren't a threat to his gang, so Wade takes their horses, promising to leave them tied up "on the road to Bisbee", so that Evans can recover them, but won't be able to give warning immediately. After Wade's gang departs, Evans rescues the lone surviving coach guard, Byron McElroy, left alive but severely wounded.
Wade and his gang ride to Bisbee to drink at the local saloon and divide up the loot. The gang departs but Wade chooses to stay behind to enjoy the company of the barmaid. Evans brings McElroy to veterinarian/lawman Doc Potter, then tries in vain to negotiate his debt with Hollander. Evans then finds Wade emerging from an upstairs room in the saloon and coaxes a few dollars from Wade over the trouble he caused Evans. As the two talk, lawmen surround the saloon and arrest Wade.
Grayson Butterfield, the railroad's representative, hires a posse consisting of McElroy, Potter, Tucker (one of Hollander's men), and Evans to take Wade to Contention, where Wade is to be put on the 3:10 afternoon train to Yuma Territorial Prison. Evans asks for $200 (equivalent to $5,600 in 2021) to deliver Wade, which Butterfield agrees to. The group meets at Evans' ranch, where McElroy arranges for a decoy wagon to distract Wade's gang.
During the journey, both Tucker and McElroy provoke Wade; he stabs Tucker to death with a stolen fork and throws McElroy off a cliff. Wade attempts to escape but is stopped when Evans' son William appears. The group is ambushed by Apaches, allowing Wade to use the confusion to flee into a Chinese laborer construction camp. The foreman of the camp captures Wade and the posse arrives to collect him, but the foreman, holding an old grudge against the outlaw, wants to kill Wade. A gunfight breaks out between the two groups, killing Potter while the rest escape with Wade. They arrive in Contention hours before the train's departure time and check into a hotel, where several local marshals join them.
Wade's gang members ambush the decoy wagon and kill everyone after finding out that Wade is in Contention. The gang, now led by Charlie Prince, offers a $200 cash reward to anyone who kills one of Wade's captors. Numerous men volunteer, causing the town's marshals to desert immediately; Wade's men kill them when they try to surrender. Butterfield resigns as well, but agrees to keep William safe at Evans's behest. Evans agrees to put Wade on the prison train in exchange for Butterfield paying him $1000, getting his son safely home, getting his farm access to river water, and getting Hollander to leave his family alone.
Evans escorts Wade out of the hotel, and the two make their way across town, evading continuous gunfire from the gang and the townsmen. Wade surprises Evans and nearly strangles him, but relents when Evans reveals that delivering Wade to the train is not only for his family but his honor as well. Wade then admits he has already been to Yuma Prison and escaped twice, and agrees to board the train, allowing Evans's contract to be fulfilled and redeeming Evans to his sons.
Wade helps Evans evade his gang and finally boards the train, congratulating Evans on his efforts. Charlie appears and shoots Evans despite Wade's order to stop. Wade steps off the train, comforting Evans in his final moments. When Charlie returns Wade's gun belt, he abruptly executes Charlie along with the rest of his gang. William appears and draws his gun on Wade but does not kill him, instead turning to his dying father. Wade boards the train and politely surrenders his weapon. Evans dies as William tells him he accomplished his mission and got the money. Butterfield watches the train depart with Wade on it. As the train disappears around a bend, Wade whistles, and his faithful horse pricks up his ears and gallops after the train, indicating that Wade is already planning his next escape.
In June 2003, Columbia Pictures announced a negotiation with Mangold to helm a remake of the 1957 Western film 3:10 to Yuma, based on a script written by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. After being apart from the project for several years, Mangold resumed his role as director in February 2006. Production was slated to begin in summer 2006. In the same month, Tom Cruise expressed an interest in starring as the villain in the film. Eric Bana also briefly sought a role in the film.
In summer 2006, Columbia placed the film in turnaround, and the project was acquired by Relativity Media. Crowe and Bale were cast as the main characters, and Relativity began seeking a distributor for the film. By September, Lions Gate Entertainment signed on to distribute the film. Later in the month, Peter Fonda, Gretchen Mol, Dallas Roberts, Ben Foster, and Vinessa Shaw were cast. Filming was slated to begin on October 23, 2006, in New Mexico. On the first day of filming, a rider and his horse were seriously injured in a scene when the horse ran directly into a camera-carrying vehicle instead of veering off as planned. The rider was hospitalized, and the horse had to be euthanized on the set. The animal's death prompted an investigation from the American Humane Association. By November, the AHA concluded its investigation, finding that the horse did not respond accordingly due to having received a dual training approach and the rider not being familiar with the mount. The organization recommended no charges against the producers. Principal photography took place in and around Santa Fe, Abiquiú, and Galisteo. The Bonanza Creek Ranch represented the film's town of Bisbee as a "kinder, gentler frontier town" while Galisteo was set up to be Contention (now a ghost town), a "much rougher, bawdier, kind of sin city". Others locations were the scenic Diablo Canyon and the Gilman Tunnels () along New Mexico State Road 485. Filming concluded on January 20, 2007.
After filming concluded, the owners of the Cerro Pelon Ranch petitioned to keep a $2 million expansion to the movie set on their property, which was supposed to be dismantled within 90 days. The set of 3:10 to Yuma made up 75% of the overall sets on the ranch. In April 2007, the request was met by the county's development review committee to keep the expansion, which would potentially generate revenue in the future.
3:10 to Yuma was originally slated for an October 5, 2007 release, but Lionsgate moved the film's release a month earlier to September 7, 2007, to beat competing Western films The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and No Country for Old Men. As a result of the move, the studio was not able to use the Toronto International Film Festival as a platform for the film's release, but it was released before a cluster of films similarly vying for awards. According to Lionsgate president Tom Ortenberg, "In what is shaping up to be a very impressive and crowded field of upscale commercial motion pictures this fall, we wanted to be one of the first ones out, so that everything else will be measured against us." The earlier theatrical run positioned it for a prominent high-definition Blu-ray Disc and DVD release in the first week of January, during awards seasons. Lionsgate similarly planned this strategy for Crash (2004), which won the Academy Award for Best Picture that year.
In Germany, the film was released by Columbia Pictures, which had produced the 1957 original.
3:10 to Yuma debuted in the United States and Canada on September 7, 2007, in 2,652 theaters. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $14 million and ranked #1 at the U.S. and Canadian box office. 3:10 to Yuma grossed $53.6 million in the United States and $17.6 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $71.2 million.
On film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 89% based on 222 reviews, with an average rating of 7.53/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "The remake of this classic Western improves on the original, thanks to fiery performances from Russell Crowe and Christian Bale as well as sharp direction from James Mangold." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 76 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
Andrew Sarris of The New York Observer said "There is more greed-driven corruption in the remake than there was in the original" and that the film is less a remake "than a resurrection of both the film and its now unfashionable genre." Sarris said Fonda and Foster "are especially memorable" and said "the performances of Mr. Crowe and Mr. Bale alone are worth the price of admission." The New Yorker film critic David Denby wrote that the film "is faster, more cynical, and more brutal" than the 1957 film. Denby wrote that Fonda "gives an amazingly fierce performance" and that Crowe "gives a fascinating, self-amused performance", saying "Crowe is an acting genius." Denby said "this is by far [director James Mangold's] most sustained and evocative work." Denby wrote that "much of this Western is tense and intricately wrought." Ty Burr of The Boston Globe called the film "lean, almost absurdly satisfying." Burr wrote that Crowe and Bale "are among the best, most intuitively creative we have, and whatever transpires offscreen in Crowe’s case, onscreen they only serve their characters. Neither man showboats here, and it’s a thrill to watch them work." Burr said that the character of Ben Wade is "a snake and a snake charmer in one irresistible package" and said Foster as Charlie Prince is "mesmerizing." Burr said "Bale and Crowe never once misstep" and that Mangold "steers clear of Deadwood revisionism." Burr, however, wrote that the ending "makes little to no sense in a post-Clint Eastwood universe."
Bruce Westbrook of the Houston Chronicle gave the film 3½ stars and called it "the best Western since Unforgiven", calling it "both cathartic and intelligent." He wrote that the film "draws clear inspiration from the lonely heroics of High Noon" and said "While a wildly eventful action-adventure and outlaw shoot-'em-up, it's also a vibrant story of heroism, villainy and hard-earned redemption." Westbrook said that Crowe and Bale are "at the top of their game" and "Crowe is reliably charismatic as a man who's less craven and bloodthirsty than wise, resourceful and expedient." Shawn Levy of The Oregonian gave the film a "B+" and said the film is "grounded in something like the credible realism of a John Ford Western but which also can appease the thirsts for blood, wit and tension harbored by fans of Quentin Tarantino." Levy wrote "The original film spends much time on conversation between Wade and Evans and focuses more on Evans' wife, whereas the new film has more action sequences and is infused subtly with themes that echo vexing contemporary political and moral issues." Levy said "Christian Bale gives us another of his wounded, desperate, stubborn men" and "Russell Crowe fills a role originated by Glenn Ford with a big dose of the mocking charisma, cool discernment and casual cruelty of Robert Mitchum." Levy said the climax "sews up the narrative too quickly", but called the film "a fine and sturdy picture."
The Christian Science Monitor critic Peter Rainer gave the film a "B+" and wrote "what Alfred Hitchcock once said about thrillers also applies to Westerns: The stronger the bad guy, the better the film. By that measure, 3:10 to Yuma is excellent." Comparing the film to the 1957 film, Rainer wrote that the film "is larger in scope than its predecessor, and significantly altered in its ending, but essentially it's the same old morality play." Rainer said the "drippy father-son stuff is the least successful aspect of the movie." Rainer also wrote "Bale acts as if he's still playing the POW survivalist from Werner Herzog's Rescue Dawn" and said "his hyperrealistic performance is a drag next to Crowe's dapper prince of darkness." Rainer said Crowe's "underplaying here is in many ways as hammy as if he were overplaying, and that's just fine." Richard Schickel of Time said "when a movie is as entertaining as this one, you begin to think this formerly beloved genre is due for a revival." Schickel said the 1957 film "was, in my opinion, not as good as a lot of people thought" and said Crowe "never settles for predictability when he's on screen and never lets us settle into complacency as we watch him." Schickel wrote that director Mangold "never loses his crispness or his narrative efficiency." Schickel said the comparisons to Unforgiven "are not entirely apt", saying that "Mangold's offering lacks the blackness and absurdity" of that film. He wrote, "It is more in the vein of Anthony Mann's westerns of the 1950s — trim, efficiently paced, full of briskly stated conflicts that edge up to the dark side, but never fully embrace it."
The character of Charlie Prince would go on to have a cult following, with articles about him in Fandom, LiveJournal, and Yuletide. Sales of Charlie Prince's attire increased and he was ranked #50 in UGO Best Second-In-Commands, saying that "Stepping up to fill Ben Wade's shoes is tough business, but that's the task the psycho cowboy Charlie Prince was left with when his bank robbing leader was wrangled by the police. The "psycho" part comes in handy - Prince is certainly not the type who will wait to shoot you if you're between him and a Russell Crowe mentorship". IGN praised Foster's performance as Charlie Prince, saying, "the real scene-stealer in the film, though, is Foster. Crazy-eyed gunslinger Charlie Prince is like a loyal but wild dog who will maul anyone seeking to hurt his master and would follow him into hell if need be. There is a glance between Ben and Charlie near the end that is one of the most moving and dramatic moments seen in any film this year."
The film received two Academy Award nominations for the 80th Academy Awards. Marco Beltrami was nominated for Best Original Score, and Paul Massey, David Giammarco, and Jim Stuebe were nominated for Best Sound Mixing. The film also received a nomination for Best Cast at the 14th Screen Actors Guild Awards.