Three Ten to Yuma (Elmore Leonard) - 1953 - Harper Western 2006

This story first appeared in Dime Western Magazine when Leonard was 27 years old.  It is told in just 25 pages in the paperback reprint that includes six other short stories: Cavalry Boots, Under the Friar's Ledge, Long Night, The Captives, Jugged and The Kid.  The simple tale about a deputy and an outlaw waiting in a hotel room for the train to Yuma would not seem to be enough material for two major motion pictures.  But it was.  The 1957 Heflin-Ford movie was very faithful to the short story with only minor changes - mostly names.  However, the Russell Crowe vehicle in 2007 grossly over-stated the action of Elmore's story and finishes with a thoroughly unbelievable shoot-em-up ending.  It makes me wonder if the big-ego actor demanded certain changes to make his the dominant character.  If you want to see the story as the author wrote it, and you are not a reader, rent the 1957 version.  Netflix has an ample supply. [JAM 3/20/2010]