Today I’m about to look at two scenes in their earlier version and as they where finally shot.
As a screenwriter, I am also a reader of movie scripts. If I see a scene with good tension or other qualities I am interested in, I try to locate the script on one of the numerous sites dedicated to that content.
3:10 to Yuma though I received thanks to Scott Myers at Go Into the Story.
In the movie we have a scene where the bad guy Ben Wade makes an escape attempt by fighting down McElroy in his escort and grabbing his shotgun.
In the script I got, the scene is a little different than in the movie. Here they cross a canyon with the aid of a miner’s gondola hanging onto a steel cable. Ben Wade and McElroy go first and Ben Wade takes the opportunity to choke his guard with the chain of his handcuffs.
In the movie McElroy meets his fate directly after he said that Wade’s mother was a whore. Ben Wade throws him off a cliff, grabs his shotgun and tells the others to drop their guns and go home.
The later is better in my opinion. It shows more of Ben Wade’s character. He kills McElroy because of the lie about his mother and has no interest in killing the others.
I think the scene was rewritten because of budget. Why spent money on a hazardous crossing?
The other scene I wanted to bring up was prior this and is the arrest of Ben Wade.
In the script Ben Wade has left the town of Bisbee, but returns when he realizes that his girl will be in trouble. Dan Evans arrives to the scene first where Hollander and others has started to beat the woman. Then Ben Wade appears, there is some shooting and then Wade demands Hollander to leave his girl alone. Not very surprisingly he gets himself surrounded in the meantime.
This scene draws focus to the woman in question. They have made love, yes, but she is not important for the story. She is the reason he stays behind, but the scene described above makes us wonder what happened to her later.
As the scene was finally done Dan Evans bursts into the empty saloon calling for Hollander and meets Ben Wade who just left his (temporarily) love interest. Others see the brave Dan Evans enters the saloon and backs up by surrounding the building. Dan Evans stalls Ben Wade and gets him arrested.
This brings much better focus to the scene. It is Dan Evans and Ben Wade we should be interested in. Characters, things and situations that do not bring the story forwards and do not return later should be removed.
Review: 3:10 to Yuma
A key to the secret garden is found
Filmography links and data courtesy of
The Internet Movie Database.