Classic Westerns at Harbor Theater

First up: “3:10 To Yuma” March 4
Sat, 02/25/2023 - 7:30am

Story Location:
185 Townsend Avenue
Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538
United States

During the month of March, Harbor Theater presents a brief series – Wild Wild Westerns. For fans of the tough Western action genre, these three classic movies should stir your sluggish waiting-for-Spring blood! Shown twice each week at special times, “3:10 To Yuma” (1957), “The Wild Bunch” (1969), and “Unforgiven” (1992) will run concurrently with our regular first-run films.

First, on Saturday, March 4 at 2 p.m. and Monday, March 6 at 7 p.m., “3:10 To Yuma” will start off the series with Van Heflin playing rancher Dan Evans whose family and livelihood is at breaking point due to a devastating drought. Needing money fast, Evans gets thrown a financial lifeline when a reward is offered to escort a recently captured outlaw, Ben Wade (Glenn Ford), on to the 3:10 train to Yuma prison. But as Wade's gang closes in to free the shackled outlaw, and the clock starts to tick down, Evans finds himself torn between a sense of social duty and an easy option courtesy of Wade's mind game offer.

Based on a story by Elmore Leonard, this is a tight and tense Western that harks to the wonderful High Noon five years earlier. Directed by Delmer Daves, “3:10 to Yuma” sees two of the Western genre's most undervalued performers come together in perfect contrast. . . . Nothing is ever certain until the credits role, and that is something that is never to be sniffed at in the Western genre.

The comparison with High Noon is a fair one because “3:10 to Yuma” also deals with the man alone scenario. A man left alone to deal with his adversaries and his own conscience; money or pride indeed. Daves' direction is gritty and suitably claustrophobic, with close ups either being erotically charged {watch out for Felicia Farr's scenes with Ford in the saloon} or tightly wound in room 207 of the hotel; where Heflin & Ford positively excel. His outdoor work, aided by Charles Lawton Jr's photography, also hits the spot, particularly the barren land desperate for water to invigorate it. While the piece also has a tremendous George Duning theme song warbled (and whistled by Ford in the film) by Frankie Laine. Great acting, great direction and a great involving story; essential for fans of character driven Westerns. John Chard, TMDB

The Wild Wild Westerns series will continue at Harbor Theater with “The Wild Bunch” (1969), a film that even today stands up as one of the greatest American films, on Monday, March 13 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 18 at 2 p.m., and “Unforgiven” (1992), an incredible and true highlight of modern-day cinema, on Monday, March 20 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 25 at 2 p.m.