Russell Crowe as Ben Wade, cunning bandit leader
Arizona Territory, Fall 1884
Film: 3:10 to Yuma
Release Date: September 7, 2007
Director: James Mangold
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
The remake of the classic 1957 Western 3:10 to Yuma, based on Elmore Leonard’s short story of the same name, was released 15 years ago this week during a renaissance year for Western-themed movies, including the respective masterpieces No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood, and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. I have fond memories of seeing each one in theaters with my dad including this one, which we saw one weekend early in my first semester of college and particularly resonated with its themes of fatherhood.
Russell Crowe was James Mangold’s first choice for the role of Ben Wade, the introspective and thoughtful yet still ultimately ruthless outlaw leader who had been originated on screen by Glenn Ford fifty years earlier. With a fear-and-awe-inspiring reputation akin to the real-life Jesse James (who was born today in 1847, 160 years to the day before this version of 3:10 to Yuma was released), Wade defies bandit stereotypes by seemingly preferring quietly sketching to shootouts… but that doesn’t mean he’ll hesitate to shoot fast, straight, and with wicked accuracy when he feels compelled. “I wouldn’t last five minutes leadin’ an outfit like that if I wasn’t as rotten a hell,” Wade reassures us. Continue reading