3.10 to Yuma

(Image credit: Richard Foreman SMPSP)

Christian Bale and Russell Crowe go head-to-head in this ten-gallon remake of a Western classic

The original 1957 version of 3:10 to Yuma was very much a chamber piece, predominantly taking place in a single hotel room where an impoverished rancher is engaged in a psychological war of nerves with the captured outlaw he has been paid to deliver to the mid-afternoon train that will carry him to jail.

This rugged remake however takes to the open trail with Christian Bale replacing Van Heflin as the good guy and Russell Crowe wearing Glenn Ford's black hat as the manipulative villain of the piece. This opening out of the story works rather well and gives the film plenty of scope for action as Crowe's conniving gang attempt to liberate their leader.

But, in the end, it's the prickly relationship between the two opposing main characters that gives the films its power and the reflective performances by Bale and Crowe are more than up to the task.