At the end of the movie 3:10 to Yuma, we see Ben killed his teammate Charlie after failing to save Dan. We have seen that Ben tried to cooperate with Dan during the second half of the movie. So, was Ben feeling weak towards Dan? It's very unnatural given the role he has portrayed in the movie. Ben is a cold-hearted mass murderer. How come has he changed? And why did he try to save Dan and kill Charlie? Am I missing something?

  • 1
    This is the 2007 movie with Russell Crowe, not the 1957 one, right?
    – Hew Wolff
    Nov 15, 2012 at 19:33
  • yea, the 2007 movie.
    – Mistu4u
    Nov 15, 2012 at 19:38
  • Maybe he just liked his weiner
    – user32530
    Mar 21, 2016 at 5:40

3 Answers 3


Ben could've escaped whenever he wanted, he wanted to ensure that Dan sees him off in the train to Yuma, The reason being he wants Dan to succeed in his endeavor because of the promise he made to his son and his wife and also he sympathizes with Dan on the fact that he used to be a soldier and his life changed after he sustained the injury in the war and wanted to give him the fulfillment of sending the notorious criminal to the jail.

So when Charlie kills him against his orders Ben gets angry on that issue and he no longer cares for the group and he kills them all and goes in the train simply to fulfill Dan once again and once the train departs he flees on his horse.

  • I think Dan is just a lucky person who gets the attention of Bens kind face accidentally. But I have the question why did he feel for Dan? How could he feel like that being a bad person? I want to know what speciality of Dan made his life a whole change?
    – Mistu4u
    Nov 15, 2012 at 21:10
  • Sympathy is so not expected from Ben so easily. I think some characteristics of Dan made him think of his own(Ben). So he changed himself.But what are that?
    – Mistu4u
    Nov 15, 2012 at 21:11
  • I don't remember any scene in the movie which kind of reflects on Ben brooding over some characteristic change that you are pointing too, he was impressed by the proud demeanor Bale's character was showing and his persistence in ensuring that he wanted to see him to reach the train which i believe he admired. There was a point even the sheriff says he will give him the money and he can just walk away but to Bale's character that mission was supposed to be a rejuvenation of his life once he fulfills that.
    – Dredd
    Nov 16, 2012 at 16:07

I think Ben was was likely to be good, but since his mother left him while reading bible, in childhood, he was left to face the odds of society, that made him become what he became... but there were two things left in him of that memory, bible and respect for family. He killed one bounty hunter when he told him he was son of a wxhore... In whole movie he was reading proverbs and references...

In the movie he was shown drawing things he liked, an Eagle, a woman, ... and DAN! He had liking in him about Dan, because he didn't gave up on the family's pride, even when Ben taunted him of things he should've done better for his wife, his sons... Ben couldn't break him... he mentioned that part of Dan he liked while fight in mountains... and when in the station Contention, Dan just told him of why he wasn't stubborn... this was turning point that made Ben believe that this guy has guts not to leave the family against all odds... and when they left the station for train, they nodded each other of a plan to enable Dan hand over Ben to train's staff...

well at that ending part, Ben was living in retrospect ... thinking about any good left in him was giving Dan a chance to succeed with his family's issues, not just a few bucks, but win his respect and he admired his struggle for his family that's why he gave himself in. But it was only among these two... Ben's crew didn't had glimpse of what's going through his head... and when they realized, it was too late for them...


Ben used to trust God, that's why he read the Bible from cover to cover hoping that God would make his mother come back. When she didn't come back Ben stopped believing in God, and if God doesn't exist for you then you can do anything you want, but deep inside he still had that feeling of righteousness. You could see that when he tells stories of Apaches being massacred.

The more Ben interacted with Dan the more Dan grew on him. He liked Dan. Now, why did he like him? Because in Dan Ben saw himself, the other himself, the other himself he probably dreamed of being but couldn't be - a righteous man with a wife and kids, who had principles and who would die for his family and that's what Ben admired in Dan.

And the last reason is that Ben knew he could escape Yuma otherwise he wouldn't be that helpful.

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