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3:10 to Yuma [Criterion Collection] (1957) Blu-ray Review

310-to-yuma-criterion-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English LPCM 1.0 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 92 Mins.
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 14, 2013
  • List Price: $39.95

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures are taken directly from the Blu-ray Discs and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

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This original 1957 adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s (Justified) pulp western adventure, 3:10 to Yuma, was the first of the writer’s stories to be adapted to the big screen. Directed by Delmer Daves (Jubal), it is far smaller in scope than the many sweeping westerns of the day, but no less riveting to watch. The character-driven story relies ever so lightly on the beautiful backdrop of the Arizona desert to propel what turns out to be a rather intense, almost claustrophobic psychological drama driven by the superb acting of Glenn Ford and Van Heflin.

When outlaw Ben Wade (Ford) is captured in a small Texas border town, struggling farmer and family man Dan Evans (Heflin) reluctantly volunteers to shepherd Wade to the next town over, Contention, and guard him until he can be put on the next train out of town, the “3:10 to Yuma,” to face prosecution. It’s a job he took just so he could get the money to keep his farm from going under, but one that quickly becomes more dangerous than he counted on. Wade’s posse is still on the loose, and not about to let their leader go down without a fight.

Unlike the 2007 remake starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale that opted for little in the way of thoughtful reflection and more cowboy dress up and gunplay-driven action, this Daves-directed film is more reflective. The most intense scenes are not gunfights, contrary to many other westerns, but when Evans and Wade are holed up in a hotel room awaiting the train. Wade does his best to get into Evans’ head and turn him to his side. We really don’t know which way things are going to go, and both actors put on brilliant performances here. Daves does his masterful best in capturing the intensity of the moment as well. It is in fact an intensity that seems to have been slowly building from the very opening moments of the film, with little sidetracking, apart from a regrettable love story subplot between Wade and the barmaid Emmy (Felicia Farr). This latter storyline feels completely contrived and, dare I say, boardroom driven.

Minor grievances aside, 3:10 to Yuma is truly one of the better, straight ahead, good guy/bad guy westerns, done on a smaller scale to come out of the golden era of the genre.

Video Quality

[Rating:5/5]

310-to-yuma-criterion-BD_02

Criterion offers up this restoration of 3:10 to Yuma‘s classic black and white imagery in a sublime AVC/MPEG-4 offering on Blu-ray. There is very little to complain about apart from some very minor specks of source damage in the source and the occasional light scratch. It is very crisp, textured, and has a beautiful film-like layer of grain. Close-ups reveal a three-dimensional amount of detail, which extends well into the backgrounds and distance shots as well. Contrast is strong, offering deep blacks, bright whites, and no issues with either crush or clipping.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

310-to-yuma-criterion-BD_03

Purists get the original monaural soundtrack in a LPCM 1.0 (48kHz/24-bit) track and those looking to fill out their home theatre sound systems get an alternate DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) surround track with this Blu-ray release from Criterion Collection. Somehow, the 1.0 track seems to work better within the smaller confines of this often claustrophobic film, however the 5.1 mix has its moments, even if it simply adds more “air” with slight stereo panning and ambience. Either mix will give you very clean and full dialogue, though the 5.1 provides it with more pinpoint accuracy in the center channel, for obvious reasons.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

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While this Criterion release is one of the lighter ones as far as supplements go, it is a definite plus to have an interview with Elmore Leonard included, as well as one with the son of Glenn Ford, Peter Ford.

The supplements:

  • Elmore Leonard (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:13:01) — 3:10 to Yuma was the first feature film adaptation from an Elmore Leonard story. Later, Leonard’s novels Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Rum Punch would also be made into films. The Criterion Collection conducted this interview with the author at his home in Detroit in 2013.
  • Peter Ford (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:15:04) – This interview with actor Glenn Ford’s son, Peter, author of the definitive biography Glenn Ford: A Life, was conducted by the Criterion Collection in Los Angeles in 2013.
  • Booklet: The booklet gives us an insightful essay on the film by critic Ken Jones.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

310-to-yuma-criterion-BD_05

Man, they don’t make ’em like this anymore. 3:10 to Yuma is a western lover’s dream come true in this Criterion Collection edition. Tough, rugged, and psychologically complex, like the best of any Elmore Leonard work, this one is a must see.

 

Additional Screen Captures

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BestBuy.com:
3:10 to Yuma - B&W - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase 3:10 to Yuma on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

 

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