Boomer Twilight

Mostly Humorous Observations of Most Anything, with a Boomer Slant

3:10 to Yuma – A Movie Review

with 4 comments

Being born in 1950 has at least one benefit. Many of you reading this think “that’s a long time ago, and what could be good about being that old?” Well, it gave me an appreciation of the western movie.

In 1950 the Wild West had only been tamed for about 35 years. The last stage robbery took place in 1916 and Wyatt Earp died in 1929. Forty years ago from this year, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated, so thirty-five years in perspective doesn’t seem so long ago.

Some of the best TV shows in the 50s and 60s were Westerns. We had Wyatt Earp, Cheyenne, The Rebel, Bonanza, Rifleman, Sugarfoot, Zorro, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, The Texan, Bat Masterson, Maverick, The Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, Have Gun Will Travel, Big Valley, High Chaparral, Wagon Train, Death Valley Days, The Virginian, Wanted Dead or Alive, etc. I think you get my point; there were a lot of shows devoted to Cowboys. Go to this website for an extensive listing.

In 3:10 to Yuma the cast gets my attention. I have enjoyed monitoring the career of Christian Bale. He was the kid in Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun, and now he’s the newest Batman. If you had the pleasure of seeing his performance in The New World, you will most likely agree he is very good. He’s “movin’ on up” and it’s based on talent. In this movie he is great as Dan Evans, a rancher who is down on his luck. An Oscar for some performance is probably in his future.

Of course, Russell Crowe is terrific as the bad guy, Ben Wade. Mr. Crowe gets a lot of flack from the press for his “bad boy” ways, but his performance in virtually every movie he makes appears Oscar worthy. Throwing telephones at hotel employees is a bit much, but artists are often somewhat crazed (at least he didn’t cut off one of his ears). By the way, he was born in New Zealand, not Australia.

In my opinion (this is my review) the standout actor in 3:10 to Yuma is Ben Foster. You may have seen him in Boston Public as Max Warner or in the awesome HBO series Six Feet Under as Russell Corwin. In this movie he plays a really creepy, but slick killer, Charlie Prince, and he wears it so well.

Those of you who are familiar with Easy Rider know Peter Fonda, who is in this, too. He’s the son of Henry Fonda and brother of Jane, and even though he has a long career in films, most of which I have enjoyed, I think his greatest accomplishment is the fathering of Bridget. During the 90s she was the “It Girl” in my mind, and her greatest performances for me were in Point of No Return and Singles.

What I liked most about 3:10 to Yuma is the respect Russell Crowe shows for Christian Bale. Russell sees a father trying to impress his son, and willing to take on a job that can only lead to unfortunate circumstances. Bale is part of a group bringing Crowe to the town of Contention on behalf of the railroad he has been robbing, to be transported on the 3:10 train to Yuma for his trial. Bale is paid $200 to risk his life. All along the trail, Crowe’s gang, led by Ben Foster is creating havoc for the group, but Bale is committed to the task, regardless.

If you haven’t seen the movie, I won’t spoil it for you by revealing what happens. This was my second viewing, and I won’t hesitate to watch it again. If you like westerns, lots of action and very good acting, check it out. Our library has it on the shelf for free. Yours might, too.

“Saddle up, Pardner.”

With Love,

Bake My Fish

Written by Bake My Fish

October 12, 2008 at 12:40 am

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Man, I loved the Westerns on TV. I saw this movie and you are right. It’s very good.

    John Runyon

    November 6, 2008 at 4:17 pm

  2. I grew up during the 50s and remember all the shows that my parents made us watch. I just didn’t realize there were so many Westerns. It seems like it was a long time ago, but when you put it in perspective, not really.


    November 7, 2008 at 10:49 am


    Doris Thompson

    January 18, 2009 at 10:50 pm

  4. Hi Bob

    Was reading your blog….I loved that movie, except for the ending.

    Also, of note, since you like Westerns… In doing my husband genealogy it was revealed that he is FIRST COUSINS, 4 Generations removed from Ike and Billy Clanton! Their Grandfather Henry L Clanton is my husband’s 4th great grandfather.

    This was extremely hard news to take as my entire family, hubby and 3 kids are major fans of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday. There were howls of “Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!! ringing through my house when I told everybody. My husband was born in 1956 and grew up on Westerns.

    Some Clanton’s relatives I met through the web sent me a huge notebook of information including photos from the 1800’s of other relatives.

    Ironically they were WRITERS from some of those beloved Westerns you spoke of!

    AND….. my husband’s ancestors in the 1600’s (Clanton line) used to own tons of land around Ocean City including…. FRONTIER TOWN, where they NOW do re-enactments of the Shoot out at the OK Corral!!!

    Crazy, huh?

    My husband grew up in California… when we moved here he didn’t know he had any ties to the Eastern shore, but he fell in love with that area right away… his ancestors owned most of the entire Eastern shore 400 years ago. (I am a MDer, who moved to CA for 16 years and then talked my husband into moving back here.)


    Robin Olson

    March 21, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: