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3:10 to Yuma(1957)
After outlaw leader Ben Wade is captured in a small town, his gang continue to threaten. Small-time rancher Dan Evans is persuaded to take Wade in secret to the nearest town with a railway.
For more about 3:10 to Yuma and the 3:10 to Yuma Blu-ray release, see 3:10 to Yuma Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on April 23, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Glenn Ford, Van Heflin, Felicia Farr, Leora Dana, Henry Jones, Richard Jaeckel
Director: Delmer Daves
» See full cast & crew
3:10 to Yuma Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, April 23, 2013
Delmer Daves's "3:10 to Yuma" (1957) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion. The supplemental features on the disc include two brand new and exclusive video interviews with writer Elmore Leonard and Peter Ford, son of actor Glenn Ford. The release also arrives with an illustrated booklet featuring an essay by critic Kent Jones. In English, with optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature. Region-A "locked".
Rancher Dan Evans (Van Heflin, Black Widow, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers) and his sons witness how Ben Wade (Glenn Ford, Affair in Trinidad, Jubal) and his gang rob a stage and kill its driver. The outlaws then end up in Bisbee, where their leader approaches the stunningly beautiful barmaid Emmy (Felicia Farr, Charley Varrick). After he makes love to her and his men leave the town, he is captured by the sheriff (Ford Rainey, The Sand Pebbles).
Fearing that Ben's men will come back looking for him, the sheriff and a wealthy rancher ask for volunteers to quickly transport the outlaw to Contention City so that he is put on the 3:10 to Yuma that will take him straight to prison. The volunteers will be paid $200 each.
Desperate for money after the long drought, Dan offers to help. He is joined by Alex Potter (Henry Jones, Vertigo), a famous drunk.
Locked inside a small room in Hotel Contention, Dan and Ben begin waiting for the train. Ben tries to talk to Dan and offers to make him a rich man if he lets him go, but he refuses to listen. Eventually, Ben's men appear and all hell breaks loose.
Based on a story by Elmore Leonard, Delmer Daves' 3:10 to Yuma is a terrific psychological western that could have easily been a terrific noir picture. It is incredibly tense and oozing style and atmosphere.
The film is structured around two important character transformations. Initially, Dan is a seriously concerned about his ranch and family man who does not want any extra drama in his life. But the promise of $200 has a profound impact on him – he becomes a tough and willing to take dangerous risks man who could easily kill. On the opposite end is Ben, a smooth-talking but very dangerous man who has killed before. But there is a more delicate side of Ben that is gradually revealed after he is captured by the sheriff and relocated to the hotel.
Another interesting aspect of this film is the fact that the action in it is of little importance to the story. Instead of flashy shootouts there are a series of intense conversations that allow the key characters to shine. The fine line that separates the good and bad is also effectively blurred. The second half, in particular, is a fascinating morality play with constantly evolving themes.
The finale is also quite unusual. It forces the viewer not only to reexamine events from the first half of the film, but also reconsider whether the film is indeed about heroes and villains. Everything is put together very well, without the old clichés other similarly themed films from the era are typically plagued with.
The acting is first-class. Glenn Ford is terrific as the suave outlaw who is convinced that it is only a matter of time before he regains his freedom. Van Heflin is equally convincing as the determined to keep his word rancher. Despite her limited time in front of the camera, Farr is also very impressive as the lonely barmaid.
The film is beautifully lensed by cinematographer Charles Lawton Jr. (The Lady from Shanghai, Tokyo Joe) The large panoramic shots, in particular, are absolutely stunning. The very popular theme song 3:10 to Yuma is sung by Frankie Laine.
3:10 to Yuma Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Delmer Daves' 3:10 to Yuma arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion.
The following text appears inside the booklet provided with this Blu-ray release:
"This new digital master was produced from a restoration undertaken by Sony, for which a digital transfer was created in 4K resolution on a Spirit 4K scanner from a 35mm fine-grain master from the restored 35mm original camera negative; the restoration work was then performed in 2K resolution. The original monaural soundtrack was restored from the original 35mm D/M/E magnetic master.
Restoration and mastering supervised by: Grover Crisp/Sony Pictures, Culver City, CA.
Colorist: Tess Walsh."
Sourced from a new 4K digital restoration, the high-definition transfer is indeed very impressive. Virtually all close-ups throughout the film boast fantastic depth and clarity, allowing one to see even extremely small facial details (see screencapture #4). The larger panoramic shots are even more impressive - depth and especially fluidity are simply outstanding (see screencapture #3). Furthermore, there is a wide range of impressively balanced and very healthy whites, grays and blacks. The outdoor footage, in particular, looks wonderful (see screencapture #14). Light grain is evenly distributed throughout the entire film. The image is crisp and very sharp, but there isn't even a whiff of post-production sharpening. Also, there are no serious stability issues - frame transitions are excellent and there is no edge flicker. Finally, there are no large damage marks, debris, cuts, or warps to report in this review. To sum it all up, this is indeed a truly wonderful organic presentation of a classic western, arguably one of the most stylish to be released on Blu-ray to date. (Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray release. Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
3:10 to Yuma Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English LPCM 1.0 and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. For the record, Criterion have provided optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature.
I viewed the film with the original mono track and later on did various tests to see how it compares to the 5.1 track. Generally speaking, the 5.1 track is slightly more intense but only during select sequences. Anyone expecting impressive surround movement will likely be disappointed. Both the original mono track and the 5.1 track are notably crisp and well rounded. Frankie Laine's hit 3:10 To Yuma sounds simply fantastic on both. The dialog is free of excessive hiss, clicks, and pops. Also, there are no problematic distortions to report in this review.
3:10 to Yuma Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
3:10 to Yuma Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
It was a special treat to revisit Delmer Daves's 3:10 to Yuma on Blu-ray. I think that it looks stunning, undoubtedly the best it ever has. I truly hope that after this release and Jubal Criterion will also consider bringing other classic westerns to Blu-ray. Some classic European westerns would also be great to see in the collection. Do not hesitate to order 3:10 to Yuma, folks. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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