“Lots of things happen where all you can do is stand by and watch.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Along the way, we’re asked to question — primarily through the character of Heflin’s spitfire teenage son, who’s eminently scornful of his “wimpy” dad:
— what it means to “be a man” and stand up for one’s self. Heflin is appropriately complex and troubled in the lead role:
… but it’s Glenn Ford’s turn as Ben Wade which most impresses — his intense performance never misses a beat.
Unfortunately, 3:10‘s ending takes an unexpected turn which beggars belief and goes far beyond reasonable expectations — but it’s difficult to fault the script (based on an Elmore Leonard short story) too harshly, given the fine ride until then.
Note: 3:10 has achieved renewed interest given the compelling 2007 remake by James Mangold, starring Christian Bale and Russell Crowe. Interestingly, the new film — fine in nearly every respect — sports an equally unsatisfying ending.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: