Is the Hollywood Western Dead?

310-to-yumaOn 9/7/07, Lionsgate is releasing 3:10 To Yuma starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. Directed by Cathy Konrad and James Mangold, the same team who directed Walk The Line, 3:10 To Yuma is a screen adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s take on the classic western from his 1953 short story of the same name. In 1957 Delmer Daves directed Glenn Ford in the first adaptation to critical and commerical success. 3:10 follows the capture of Ben Wade (Crowe), a notorious railroad robber, and the journey on horseback to catch the 3:10 train to Yuma where he’ll face justice. Bale plays Dan Evans, a Civil War vet who owes money on his ranch and decides to take the offer to make some quick money by escorting Wade on the dangerous mission. Along the way tension builds as Wades men track the group in an attempt to free Wade. Also starring with Crowe and Bale are Peter Fonda and Ben Foster.

Early reviews from those who have seen the film are very positive, and as a western fan I’m excited to see the return of an old school eastwood-esque movie to screens. It’s been several years since Open Range, directed by Kevin Costner, and Hollywood has been tepid towards westerns over concern about the genre’s draw. 3:10 may prove to be a benchmark that will affect how many westerns are greenlighted in the coming years. If you’re a western fan like me, make sure you support 3:10 To Yuma and let studios know that this genre is far from dead.

Check out the 3:10 To Yuma trailer at the official site.

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