A lousy ending spoils the otherwise lean, efficient 3:10 to Yuma, which charts the efforts of down-on-his-luck cattle rancher Dan Evans (Van Heflin) to bring notorious outlaw Ben Wade (Glenn Ford) to the titular train, which will transport the criminal to prison. Evans accepts the job because, after a brutal dry spell that’s made his land unprofitable, he needs the money. Yet as Delmer Daves’ Western slowly makes plain, Evans is really driven by a desire to prove himself to his son and wife, especially since the latter is magnetically drawn to the remorseless, self-interested Wade. Evans strives to obtain a bit of Wade’s bold, charismatic manliness, but Wade also sees something in Dan that he covets - namely, goodness, and the reciprocated love of family - thereby giving 3:10 to Yuma its underlying psychological dimension. Daves directs with a bare minimum of wasted shots or conversational blather, keeping his story moving at a brisk pace that helps make up for the general absence of traditional gunfighting action. Still, no amount of climactic train smoke can mask the fact that the finale – though consistent with the previously established Evans-Wade dynamic – is fancifully optimistic gibberish, a happy ending that seems thoroughly divorced from the cool heartlessness spied for most of the film in Ford’s vicious eyes.