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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
"Where a man lives is where he should be buried."
DVD ReviewDan Evans (Van Heflin) is a humble cattleman, working the dust bowl, and not wanting to get messed up in anything that isn't his business, even when he and his sons witness a notorious gang murder a man while robbing a stagecoach. While the robbers take his horses to slow any report of their crime, Evans is content to simply gather in his herd and forget the matter. However, life in this region is getting harder, and the farmer needs six months' water rights to keep his herd from dying off—at a cost of $200. Evans is not a man to accept charity, but his wife harps on him that the price of his inaction will be his family, and urges him to get a loan from the town's saloon owner.
Ben Wade (Glenn Ford) is the gang leader, known throughout the region as a man who can't be held in captivity, and his gang has left many a corpse in their wake while maintaining their liberty. After pulling a ruse to get the town's men on the wrong trail, Wade gets involved with the local barmaid (Felicia Farr), letting his gang ride off in escape, but when Evans shows up and gets himself involved with the capture of the gang leader, the farmer is forced to rise to the challenge. The only hope of getting Wade to justice is to safely get him on the 3:10 train to Yuma, and with a $200 bounty at stake, Evans, with the help of the town drunk (Henry Jones) takes on the job. It's a race against time as he tries to outwit the outlaws, counting down the hours until his charge is bound for trial. With the clock ticking, the showdown of wills continues to mount, with the odds getting worse with each passing minute.
3:10 to Yuma is a tense psychological character study that could as easily reside in a different period to the same effect. Evans is a desperate man who can't back down due to his pride, while Wade is a smooth operator looking to push the right buttons to make his escape, all the while knowing his gang can free him if he fails in his negotiations. While there are some gun battles, most of the focus is on how the main players react to each other, with Evans trying to hold on to his principles, and Wade manipulating him into giving him his freedom. Dialogue is well written and delivered, with great acting on the parts of the principles. The cinematography is exquisite, delivering a rich and detailed image in glorious black & white. The depth of the picture is wonderful, enhanced by the widescreen framing. With its solid performances, great visuals and suspenseful story, 3:10 to Yuma makes an engaging watch.
Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B
Image Transfer Review: The black & white image is excellent, with perfect contrast, a full range of greys, good shadow detail and definition. Print defects are negligible, and compression issues are minor, as is any aliasing. This is a great looking picture.
An open matte transfer is also included which is also presented well, despite throwing the composition way off.
Image Transfer Grade: A
Audio Transfer Review: Mono audio is clear and free of distortion or hiss. Tonal range is limited, but sounds natural without any edginess or excessive sibilance. The only issue is that the track is slightly on the quiet side, but apart from that, no complaints here.
Audio Transfer Grade: A
Disc ExtrasStatic menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, French, Portugese with remote access
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring McKenna's Gold, Silverado
Extras Review: Menus are simple, but appropriately themed. Trailers for McKenna's Gold and Silverado are the only extras.
Extras Grade: D
Final CommentsDirector Delmer Daves' adaptation of Elmore Leonard's story keeps the tension up throughout 3:10 to Yuma, a well done character study set in the western genre. The look is magnificent, and the performances stand up. Great vintage cinema.
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