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The Gun Nut Takes The 3:10 To Yuma
I saw the original version of this movie when it came out in 1957, and remember it mostly as Glenn Ford and Van Heflin sitting in a hotel room talking, and thinking For God's sake shut up and somebody shoot somebody.
In this remake, plenty of people get shot. It is, however, a dopey movie, filled with lapses in logic and a script that tries for profundity and fails. It has plenty of Old Western Funk, and people carry Old Western guns like Colt 1860 Army revolvers converted to cartridge use, and Smith & Wesson Schofields, and Sharps, and Spencer carbines. But there are some lamentable lapses in authenticity.
*None of the guns produce any smoke that you could notice.
*An outlaw burns to death inside a stagecoach without making a sound. No "Gee, fellas, it's getting hot in here," or "Could someone open the door please?" Not a peep.
*A Pinkerton man gets shot in the stomach point blank with a .44 Schofield. He's hauled into town where a veterinarian takes out the bullet and he doesn't make a peep. Then he's up, and walking and riding, no more inconvenienced than you or I would be after overindulging at Taco Bell. The only thing that keeps him from making a complete recovery is Russell Crowe, who throws him off a cliff. Or maybe he bounced and walked away.
*An armored (!) stagecoach carrying a payroll and a Gatling gun is being pulled by a four-horse team at a fine rate of knots. In real life, it took a four-horse team just to pull a Gatling gun.
*As this stagecoach is tearing along at 25 mph, a sinister Hispanic sniper shoots at it from 500 yards with what looks like a Sharps, equipped with a scope with a modern reticle. He picks off the guys working the Gatling with the greatest of ease.
*The shotgun guard on the coach, who is using a hammer shotgun, doesn't know you have to cock the hammers. This is the same guy who gets shot in the gut a little later, so there may be some connection.
*Christian Bale plays a former Union Sharpshooter who lost a leg in the War of Northern Agression. This notwithstanding, he jumps off a building, rolls, and proceeds to run like a damn deer.
And so on, and so forth. The high point of the film for me was a young actor named Ben Foster, who plays a stone killer named Charlie Prince. Charlie Prince is the best stone killer since Jack Palance played Jack Wilson in Shane, and that was 50-plus years ago. And Russell Crowe is charming, and the gunfight at the end is worth it.
On balance, 3:10 to Yuma is worth the price of admission. But leave your brains in the lobby.