'3:10 to Yuma' Remakes the Original Western

Swapping audio and video from the original '3:10 to Yuma' with the remake starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, proves the film stands the test of time.

If you have never seen Delmer Daves' 3:10 to Yuma, it is time you did. The film was originally released in 1957 and then remade in 2007. The Geeks staff was curious to see just how similar the 1957 trailer is to the 2007 remake's trailer. Taking the trailer for the remake of 3:10 To Yuma, the team overlaid the audio from the original. They then repeated the process in reverse, replacing the audio from the original's trailer with that of the remake, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. What happened was surprising. The two trailers worked seamlessly when they had their audios replaced with each others. Almost as well as when they did The Wizard of OZ sync thing, with Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

'3:10 to Yuma' Remake Trailer With Original's Audio

The plot centers around Dan Evans, who is an impoverished rancher and Civil War veteran. He owes money to Glen Hollander and when he fails to pay, two of Hollander's men set his barn on fire. The next morning, as Evans and his two sons drive their herd, they stumble upon outlaw Ben Wade and his gang who are using Evans' cattle to block the road and ambush an armored stagecoach staffed by Pinkerton agents. As Wade loots the stage, Wade discovers Evans and his two sons watching from the hills. Acknowledging that they pose no threat to him and his gang, Wade takes their horses, telling Evans that he will leave them tied up on the road to Bisbee. Wade travels with his gang to the town of Bisbee to enjoy a celebratory drink at the local saloon. Evans eventually arrives with lawmen from Bisbee and tries in vain to negotiate with Hollander. Enraged at the loss of his livelihood and land, Evans tries confronting Hollander in the nearby saloon. Evans instead encounters Wade, whom he distracts long enough for the railroad guards to ambush and arrest him.

The 2007 film, 3:10 to Yuma, is a western film directed by James Mangold, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale as the lead roles. The supporting cast includes Peter Fonda, Gretchen Mol, Ben Foster, Dallas Roberts, Alan Tudyk, Vinessa Shaw, and Logan Lerman. Although the entire cast is new, the story line is a remake of the 1957 film of the same name, making it the second adaptation of Elmore Leonard's short story "Three-Ten to Yuma." This redux received positive reviews from critics and Rotten Tomatoes reported that 88 percent of critics gave the film a positive review based on 214 reviews, with an average score of 7.5/10. The site's consensus states: 

"The remake of this classic Western improves on the original, thanks to fiery performances from Russell Crowe and Christian Bale as well as sharp direction from James Mangold."

Russell Crowe & Christian Bale's Western

Andrew Sarris of The New York Observer said "There is more greed-driven corruption in the remake than there was in the original" and that the film is less a remake of 3:10 to Yuma "than a resurrection of both the film and its now unfashionable genre." Sarris went on to say that Fonda and Foster "are especially memorable" and said "the performances of Mr. Crowe and Mr. Bale alone are worth the price of admission." Another review came from The New Yorker film critic, David Denby, who wrote that the film "is faster, more cynical, and more brutal" than the 1957 film. Denby wrote that Fonda "gives an amazingly fierce performance" and that Crowe "gives a fascinating, self-amused performance", saying "Crowe is an acting genius." Denby said "this is by far [director James Mangold's] most sustained and evocative work."

'3:10 to Yuma' Original Trailer With Remake's Audio

For a good part of the last century, and certainly throughout Hollywood's golden age, the Western was a staple in any boy's imaginative diet. The lore was so deeply ingrained, it seemed to stand for America itself. Then, for any number of reasons, we grew out of that mythology. The movies, by and large, gave up on the genre; save for occasional brave forays by Clint Eastwood and Kevin Costner, it's been a box office non-starter since the 1970's. Yet the love for westerns came back full force, when the 2007 version of 3:10 to Yuma was released in theaters. Adapted from an early short story by Elmore Leonard that was previously filmed very capably in 1957 with Glenn Ford and Van Heflin, 3:10 to Yuma strikes a fair balance between physical action and psychological warfare, but always at its core is the question of how we are to measure these two men.

Glenn Ford & Van Heflin's Western

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Crowe plays Wade very gently. He's a man utterly at ease with himself, commanding and confident no matter that he spends much of the picture in chains. Crowe's performance makes him all the more attractive. It's also clear that he's utterly ruthless. Crowe demonstrates that, too. By contrast, Christian Bale's Evans is still striving to prove something. He may occupy the moral high ground, but most often he's the one picking himself out of the dust. It's not just that the Devil has all the best tunes, he's more of a real man too. Even so, Mangold has a job creating a satisfying, redemptive resolution. If the ending works it's on the basis that these two very different men recognize and respond to an unlikely kinship: the shame of a father, the pain of a son.

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