3:10 to Yuma - 1957

Okay, I've seen it and they couldn't find Bisbee, Arizona either! (Please see my earlier review of the 2007 version.) They even sketched a map in the dirt and pointed out distances to Benson and Fort Huachuca, which were correctly placed, but then had the temerity to imply that they could reach Nogales by nightfall (86 miles! - on horseback?). Aarghhh!

In this excellent film, Glenn Ford is the charismatic Ben Wade, while Van Heflin is the saintly Dan Evans. The main thing that struck me was the fundamental shift that has taken place in American movies. This 1957 movie is also fraught with tension, but it takes place mostly in a hotel room and is far more psychological. The 2007 version has Wade's heartless gang raiding Evans' ranch, burning his barn and scattering his cattle (I don't think they killed his dog...). It is far more bloodthirsty and much of it takes place out on the trail; it even includes an Indian raid. The end is vastly different with Dan Evans dying in the newer version, while in the original he will collect his hard-earned money, pay off his debts and enjoy the rainstorm that has just broken the drought.

I'm glad I don't have to pick a preference...