3:10 to Yuma (2007)


Yuma want to miss this one. It’s “based” on an Elmore Leonard story, but Elmore’s story done rid off toward Lost Gulch long before this nag showed up.

The screenplay of the first version of 3:10 was by Halsted Welles. I think Halsted wrote Doctor’s Hospital in the 1970s. If so, he shouldn’t have been discharged.

Michael Brandt is, I think, responsible for the screenplay of this second version. As to Brandt, his prior screenwriting credits include either Catch that Kid or Catch that Kill. Google seems confused. If it’s Kill, and any of you happen to see it, let me know whether they catch it. The reason I’m curious is it’s hard to imagine why you’d have to catch something that’s already dead. Say a squashed armadillo on a highway goin’ through butte country. Way I look at it, ain’t no chasin’ needed. A man’ud jes have tah rein in Ole Paint an’ reach down an’ pick the thing up. Though I don’t know as I’d do that. I’d probably be packin’ some jerky for the trail. Like James Stewart always done.

I think Mike, when he was gettin’ ready for this here remake, did three things (along with the Director, et al.).

First, he watched the original starring Glenn Ford. He didn’t like the original. The reason is there don’t seem to be a whole lot carried over.

Second, he watched old Westerns. A lot of them. I suspect he might have watched some of them for the first time. Regardless, here’s a partial list of things he liked: Gatling guns; Miss Kitty; buttes; Apaches; riflemen on rooftops; riflemen shot off rooftops; stage coaches; outlaw ex-Confederates still wearing their grey uniform jackets; sawed-off shotguns; quick-draw artists; fat sheriffs; dead sheriffs; cowardly sheriffs; Chinese railroad workers; dynamite; dynamite used like a grenade; dynamite used to collapse a mining tunnel; foolhardy shortcuts through Indian Country; the little boy in Shane who hero-worships Shane; the pretty but tired homesteadin’ housewife lookin’ past her sweaty hard-farmin’ hubby Van Heflin at The Stranger in natty form-fittin’ buckskin; cowboys shot in the stomach who, after a horse doctor pries out the bullet with no anesthesia, jump up and ride a hundred miles; and lots of other similar stuff. (Or “motifs.”)

Third, he watched a lot of today’s action films. (Think 16 Blocks.) Way too many of them, in fact. The Bad Guy tells the Good Guy near the end that it’s a “half mile” from the hotel where they’ve got the Bad Guy holed up to the train station to which they’ll have to shoot their way when the 3:10 arrives. Nah. It’s about 20 miles. Across rooftops, through alleys, behind sagebrush, along hitchin’ posts, behind water barrells, past tombstones and just all manner of things.

In short, if you think you were bored with Glenn Ford….

I hope Russell Crowe can move on now that he can say he done a Western.

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