Combustible Celluloid
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With: Glenn Ford, Van Heflin, Felicia Farr, Leora Dana, Henry Jones, Richard Jaeckel, Robert Emhardt, Sheridan Comerate, George Mitchell, Robert Ellenstein, Ford Rainey
Written by: Halsted Welles, based on a story by Elmore Leonard
Directed by: Delmer Daves
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 92
Date: 01/07/1957

3:10 to Yuma (1957)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Train Gang

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

During the 1950s, the Western grew a conscience -- preferring to impart Important Social Messages instead of pure action. High Noon and Shane were the most famous of these, but Delmer Daves' 3:10 to Yuma (1957), based on an Elmore Leonard story, is a scrappier, tenser example. Glenn Ford plays a captured bandit who must be held prisoner -- and hidden from the rest of his gang -- long enough for the 3:10 train to arrive. Van Heflin plays the poor farmer coerced into doing this dirty job.

The Criterion Collection released deluxe DVD and Blu-ray editions in 2013. The new 4K transfer was made from a new restoration from the original camera negative; the disc also includes an uncompressed monaural soundtrack. The quality is unbelievably rich. Extras are fairly sparse: a liner notes essay by critic Kent Jones, and new interviews with Elmore Leonard and Glenn Ford's son Peter (who wrote his father's biography). See also: 3:10 to Yuma (2007).

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