Characters: 3:10 to Yuma
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Played By: Russell CroweThe legendary leader of a ruthless gang of outlaws. After his most recent robbery, Wade is captured by chance and must be escorted to the town of Contention so he can be placed on the 3:10 train to Yuma to be hanged.
"It's man's nature to take what he wants, Dan. That's how we're born."
- Affably Evil: Wade might be ruthless to the very core, but he's also a very charming and polite man. From time to time, he's even sincere.
- Badass: He's legendary for being one of the most dangerous men in the entire country.
- Badass Bookworm: Wade is both a formidable opponent and a well-read man.
- "Well, would you look at all this? You all spared no expense this time, Byron. I gotta say, though, it's probably cheaper just to let me rob the damn thing."
- Death Glare: The look in his eyes when he's about to shoot someone is so potent that his victims recognize it and (futilely) try to counter the coming attack.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He's the Trope Namer.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Ben Wade is a thief and murderer, but he believes in paying back favors, treating the dead with respect, and using non-violent methods when possible.
- Fastest Gun in the West: He's without a doubt the quickest shot in the entire film; nobody comes close to outdrawing Ben Wade.
- Holy Hitman: Ben Wade seems to either not believe in God or dislike Him, but he can exchange Bible quotes with the best of them.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: The only members of the posse he kills are Tucker and McElroy, a bully and a killer respectively.
- Parental Abandonment: When he was a child, his mother gave him a Bible to read at the train station and promptly left to never return.
- Wicked Cultured: He has a strong interest in art and nature.
- You Have Failed Me: He kills Tommy Darden for getting taken as a hostage."Well, Tommy, it seems that there was a Pinkerton inside that coach that wasn't quite dead yet. Now, I know Charlie told you, because we done got but a few rules in this outfit. And this is what happens when you put us all at risk."
Played By: Ben FosterBen Wade's vicious right-hand man. Deeply loyal to Wade, he leads the remaining gang in pursuit of him after Wade is captured in Bisbee.
- Ambiguously Gay: His loyalty to Wade borders on obsessive love, and he appears jealous of the young barmaid Wade sleeps with.
- Ax-Crazy: He's a trigger-happy psychotic.
- Undying Loyalty: To Ben Wade.
Played By: Rio AlexanderA Mexican sharpshooter and member of Wade's gang.
- Cold Sniper: His job within the group, which he is very good at.
- The Quiet One: Never has a word of dialogue.
Played By: Johnny WhitworthA young, incompetent outlaw in Wade's gang.
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Played straight by Charlie at first, averted by Wade, who calls him 'weak' and 'stupid'.
- Oh Crap!: When he sees Ben Wade's Death Glare.
- Shoot the Hostage: He's taken hostage by a surviving pinkerton, and Wade promptly kills them both.
Played By: Christian BaleA one-legged Civil War veteran barely managing to support his family on a ranch. Disrespected by his son and in dire financial trouble, he volunteers to help escort Ben Wade to Contention.
- The Atoner: For his cowardice during the Civil War.
- Dirty Coward: During the war, he was this and he still feels guilt over it.
- Rancher: His current occupation, although he's failing badly at it.
Played By: Logan LermanThe eldest son of Dan Evans.
"I ain't ever walking in your shoes."
Played By: Dallas RobertsAn agent of the Southern Pacific Railroad, it's at his behest that Ben Wade is to be escorted to Contention.
"The Southern Pacific will have Ben Wade convicted in a federal court. Hanged in public. An example made. And we will pay to make it happen."
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Wade's gang surround him, Butterfield decides to leave. However, it's easy to be sympathetic toward him; the U.S. Marshals even gave up and recommended the same to him. Butterfield just didn't want to die pointlessly for the sake of his bank.
Played By: Peter FondaA ruthless pinkerton agent frequently on the hunt for Wade. After his capture, McElroy joins the posse to escort Wade to Contention.
- Badass Grandpa: His hair might have 'gone all grey', but it's a bad idea to mess with him. He's tough, ruthless and has Nerves of Steel.
- Flat Character: Is accused of being one by Wade, who considers him boring.Ben Wade: Byron's like a song with only one note in it. You ever read a book in your life besides The Bible, Byron?Byron: No need.
- Nerves of Steel: Even with a gun trained on him, he doesn't lose his ability to snark at his would-be killer.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Wade reveals that McElroy holds a special dislike for Native Americans, slaughtering them by the dozens.
- Offstage Villainy: Although he might seem like a gruff but righteous protagonist, Wade shares his horrific and brutal past.Wade: Byron acts pious. Few years ago, when he was under contract to Central, I seen him and a bunch of other Pinks mow down 32 Apache women and children.McElroy: Renegades... gunning down railroad men and their families. Picking 'em off the road one by one. Scalping 'em.Wade: There was young ones running around crying and screaming. No more than three years old. And his boys shot 'em all then pushed 'em into a ditch. Some of them was still crying. But I guess Byron figured that Jesus wouldn't mind. Apparently Jesus don't like the Apache.
- Tempting Fate: Byron should've known not to push Ben Wade's Berserk Button. Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas.
- Would Hurt a Child: He's killed Native American children no more than three years old, and may have even buried some of them alive.
- Worthy Opponent: For Ben Wade, or so it appears at first. It's subverted later when the depth of their hatred for each other is revealed.
Played By: Alan TudykA veterinarian from the town of Bisbee, the nervous but good-hearted Potter is dragged along with Wade's escort to provide medical service to a wounded McElroy.
- Frontier Doctor: A veterinarian, but the closest the posse have to a medic.
- The Heart: Doc is the kindest member of the posse, and is only part of it because of his duty to his patient. Dan wants respect and money, Tucker is ordered to by Hollander, Butterfield wants to protect his bank's interests, McElroy wants to see Wade swing and William wants to prove himself a badass. The Doc has the most moral reason of all of them to help.
- The Medic: For the posse. He's brought along to tend to McElroy's wounds.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: It's a matter of some concern for McElroy when he sees that the Doc mostly tends to horses, not humans.
Played By: Kevin DurandA hired thug working for Glen Hollander.
"You have a week, Evans. Then we burn the house."
- The Bully: Tucker is a sadistic jerk who enjoys taunting others and causing misery. Notably he only bullies Dan, who is under his boss's thumb, and Wade when he's tied up and supposedly helpless.
- Bullying a Dragon: He tries his bullying tactics with Wade. It doesn't end well for him at all.
- The Dragon: To Glen Hollander.
- Psycho for Hire: Even if he wasn't working for Hollander, he'd probably be off exercising his violent impulses elsewhere considering the sick pleasure he seems to take in hurting people.
Played By: Gretchen Mol
"If it's alright by you Mr Wade, I'd rather we not talk."The determined, steadfast wife of Dan Evans.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Ben Wade tries to pull this on her. It doesn't work.
- Green Eyes: Wade makes a note of them.
Played By: Benjamin PetryThe youngest son of Dan Evans.
- Ill Boy: He has tuberculosis and needs a dry climate.
Played By: Lennie LoftinA successful businessman who owns the farmland where the Evans Family resides.
"Railroad's coming, Dan. Your land's worth more with you off it."
- Greed: He's willing to toss a family off their land to swell his own pocket.
- Karma Houdini: Hollander's best man Tucker is dead, but Hollander himself is perfectly fine and never faces any comeuppance for his treatment of Dan.
- Precision F-Strike: When he feels Dan has overstepped his bounds."Before the water touches your land, it resides and flows on mine. And as such, I can do with it as I fuckin' please."
- Railroad Baron: Hollander aspires to become this, since he forsees the success of the railroad and wants to have it run through his land.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: His basic attitude.
Played By: Vinessa ShawA barmaid who Ben Wade takes a liking to.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: She's instantly charmed by notorious outlaw/dashing rogue Ben Wade.
Played By: Forrest FryeA railroad foreman who's had past encounters with Ben Wade.
- Character Death: Along with Zeke, Moons is killed by Charlie Prince.
- Electric Torture: He subjects Wade to this as part of his Revenge.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Boles is a slave-driving piece of work, but he did love his brother.
- Revenge: He seeks vengeance for the death of his brother at Ben Wade's hands.
Played By: Luke WilsonThe second-in-command to Walter Boles.
- Character Death: Charlie Prince kills him and his boss Walter Boles.
- Establishing Character Moment: He's established as an unsympathetic moron when he's introduced, griping about Chinese workers and wishing they had 'negros' to show them what real work is.
- Jerkass: Zeke is an ill-tempered racist.
- Number Two: He's the second-in-command to Walter Boles.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Zeke is introduced bitching about the Chinese laborers and how they should have hired 'negros'.