The opening to Delmer Daves’ melancholic Western masterpiece begins with the haunting vocals of Frankie Laine’s iconic theme to the film. There is indeed a legend and a rumor about 3:10 to Yuma, criminally under-seen and overlooked when tallying the genre’s greatest entry’s. The visual splendor of the film’s black and white cinematography evokes its revisionist roots and cynical air, often feeling more like a noir film at times than a drought-baked cowboy flick. Glenn Ford reverses expectations here by playing the cunning outlaw Ben Wade, weaponizing his signature charm to blur the line of villainy, hopefully enough to snake his way out of capture and imprisonment through the titular train that aims to deliver him to justice. 3:10 to Yuma is a bleak, tense, somber Western filled with complex themes of morality and duty, one that reflects its time and the ultimate ideals of the genre itself.
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