So what did you guys watch this weekend? I never get to the movies anymore (I’ve been three times this year) so I pretty much stuck to the 50’s and caught up with my TCM/DVR recordings. I chugged down ‘Marty’ with far more enthusiasm than I expected. I kind of expected to find it an unworthy Oscar winning vehicle and yet I found it to be so much smarter and more profound than expected. I was also really excited to finally sit down to the 1957 Western ‘3:10 to Yuma’. Why isn’t this better regarded? Why isn’t this film considered one of the better Western classics? It’s almost like no one would know of this movie at all had it not been for the 2007 remake, which in it of itself is pretty much completely forgotten.
|Gotta love a bad guy...|
What makes ‘3:10 to Yuma’ such an interesting story is that it isn’t as focused on the action as it is on the building of character. The way that both Ben and Dan interact is what builds the foundation of the film. Mangold’s remake upped the ante when it came to the action sequences, and that final shootout at the train is better executed in the remake, but this original film seems to lay a stronger foundation with the building of character. While I felt that Crowe’s interpretation of Ben Wade was stunningly savage and deserving of all the praise it garnered, it betrayed the original concept of the man. Glenn Ford’s portrayal, while not as engrossing because of not being so aggressive, adds a sharper layer to the man because we see the old world loyalties that make for a more respectable character, despite his occupation. Where the 2007 film relied on savagery to convey that gritty Western feeling, this 1957 original incorporates more of the values of the western world in making a thinking man’s film.
I loved them both, but the 1957 film is the better package in my opinion, and Van Heflin is phenomenal here and deserved to be on Oscar’s shortlist (I think a ‘Closer Look – 1957 Edition’ is in order soon!)