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Broke small-time rancher Dan Evans is hired by the stagecoach line to put big-time captured outlaw leader Ben Wade on the 3:10 train to Yuma but Wade's gang tries to free him.
Dan Evans: [while being choked] I ain't never been no hero, Wade. The only battle I seen, we was in retreat. My foot got shot off by one of my own men. You try telling that story to your boy. See how he he looks at you then.
Ben Wade: You know, squeezin' that watch won't stop time.
Dan Evans: I ain't stubborn. Ben Wade: Excuse me? Dan Evans: You said I was stubborn, for keeping my family on a dying ranch. It's my son, Mark. The young one. He got tuberculosis when he was two. Doctor said he would die if he didn't have a dry climate, so... Ben Wade: [interrupting] Why are you tellin' me this? Dan Evans: I don't know. I guess I just... wanted you to know that I ain't stubborn, is all. [both start laughing]
Ben Wade: You ever read the bible, Dan? I read it one time. I was eight years old. My daddy just got hisself killed over a shot of whiskey and my mama said "we're going back East to start over". So she gave me a bible, sat me down in the train station, told me to read it. She was gonna get our tickets. Well, I did what she said. I read that bible from cover to cover. It took me three days. She never came back.
Dan Evans: [handing him Alice's brooch] William, I want you to give this back to your mother. I want you to tell her that it helped me find what was right. William Evans: Pa... I can't. I can't just leave you. Dan Evans: I'm gonna be a day behind you, William. Unless something happens, and if it does, I need a man at the ranch to run things, protect our family, and I know that you can do that because you've become a fine man, William. You've become a fine man. You got all the best parts of me. What few there are. [Dan shakes William's hand] Dan Evans: And you just remember that your old man walked Ben Wade to that station when nobody else would.
Glen Hollander: Sometimes a man has to be big enough to see how small he is.
Dan Evans: What did Doc Potter give his life for, William? McElroy... Ben Wade: Little red ants on a hill. Butterfield: I'll pay you the 200, Dan. Right now. And you can walk away. Dan Evans: You know, this whole ride... it's been egging on me. That's what the government gave me for my leg - 198 dollars 36 cents and the funny thing is that... when you think about it, which I have been lately, is they weren't paying me to walk away, they were paying me so they could walk away. Ben Wade: Don't muddy the past in the present, Dan. Dan Evans: No... Wade, I'm seeing the world the way it is.
Ben Wade: I've always liked you Byron, but you never know when to shut up. Even bad men love their mommas. [Throws him off the edge of the cliff]
Dan Evans: I've been standin on one leg for three damn years waitin for God to do me a favor... and He ain't listenin.
Charlie Prince: [giving a toast] Here's to the four we lost in battle. And here's to the boss, who had to say goodbye to Tommy Darden today. And that's too bad. Ben Wade: Proverbs 13:3. "He that keepeth his mouth, keepeth his life. He that opens his lips too wide shall bring on his own destruction". Charlie Prince: Amen. Ben Wade: Tommy was weak. Tommy was stupid. Tommy is dead. Charlie Prince: I'd drink to that.
Charlie Prince: For a one-leg rancher... he's one tough son of a bitch.
Ben Wade: So, boys - where we headed? Byron McElroy: Taking you to the 3:10 to Yuma day after tomorrow. Tucker: Shouldn't have told him that. Ben Wade: Relax, friend. Now if we get separated, I'll know where to meet up.
Alice Evans: He's a killer, Daniel. Dan Evans: Then someone ought to have the decency to bring him to justice.
Butterfield: Twenty-two robberies. Over four hundred thousand dollars in losses. More in delays. 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. Ben Wade: Y'all notice he didn't mention any of the lives I've taken.
Ben Wade: They're gonna kill you and your father, William. They're gonna laugh while they do it. I think you know that. William Evans: Call 'em off. Ben Wade: Why should I? William Evans: Because you're not all bad. Ben Wade: Yes, I am. William Evans: You saved us from those Indians. Ben Wade: I saved myself. William Evans: You got us through the tunnels. You helped us get away. Ben Wade: If I had a gun in them tunnels, I would have used it on you. William Evans: I don't believe you. Ben Wade: Kid, I wouldn't last five minutes leading an outfit like that if I wasn't as rotten as hell.
Charlie Prince: I hate posses.
Ben Wade: Now, you see Dan, generally pretty much everyone wants to live. That means Butterfield, too. He's gonna walk out on you. He's gonna come back up here, and he's gonna walk out on you. Now, what you gotta figure is why you and your boy are gonna die. Because Butterfield's railroad lost some money?
Byron McElroy: [while observing various drawings on Potter's wall that show the anatomies of various animals, while Potter treats McElroy to a bullet wound] What the fuck kind of doctor are you anyway? Doc Potter: It's nice to have a conversation with a patient for a change.
Alice Evans: Don't do it, Dan. No one will think less of you. Dan Evans: No one can think less of me.
Ben Wade: [while lying down in a hotel room bed] So this is the bridal suite? Now, I wonder how many brides have taken in this view?
Alice Evans: Ben Wade has a gang and they're out there tonight, somewhere. Dan Evans: If I don't go, we gotta pack up and leave. Now I'm tired, Alice. I'm tired of watching my boys go hungry. I'm tired of the way that they look at me. I'm tired of the way that you don't.
Dan Evans: I was best shot in my regiment. I'll come... for two-hundred dollars. Butterfield: You fight for the North or the South? Dan Evans: North. Butterfield: We're Southern in name, but Chicago owned. Fine. Two-hundred dollars.
Emmy: Funny, some men you see every day for ten years and you never notice; some men you see once and they're with you for the rest of your life.
[Potter is getting ready to go and join the posse who have gone after the stage robbers] Alex Potter, town drunk: Ain't cha gonna help catch 'em? Ben Wade: Ah, wish I could. Alex Potter, town drunk: What'd they look like? Ben Wade: Oh, they'll be easy to catch. That's three big men on three white horses. Alex Potter, town drunk: [as he starts to ride off] Three white fellas... on three big horses, huh?
Ben Wade: Remind me never to play poker in this town.
Ben Wade: Mind telling me where we're going? Dan Evans: No, I don't mind telling you. We're going to Contention City. We're going wait in a house by the station and when the 3:10 comes in we're going to put you on it. Ben Wade: Thanks. Now if we get separated I'll know where to wait for you.
Mrs. Alice Evans: What if you went into town and borrowed the money? Dan Evans: You know I hate to go begging for help. Mrs. Alice Evans: Borrowing isn't begging.
William Evans: [referring to Alice's brooch] You gonna hock that? Dan Evans: Someday, William... you walk in my shoes, you might understand. William Evans: I ain't ever walking in your shoes.
[first lines] Mr. Butterfield, Stage Line Owner: Let me warn you - I am Mr. Butterfield; this is my line, these are my passengers. You bother any of them, I'll hound you from here to kingdom come. Ben Wade: Mr. Butterfield, we don't mean to bother anybody - we just mean to get what's under that tarpaulin up there, that's all
Ben Wade: Well, the street seems to be clear and everybody's going inside. I guess they figure a storm is blowin' up, huh, Dan?
Ben Wade: They're going to kill me in the morning... I'll never see the sun.
Mrs. Alice Evans: Oh Dan, I don't want a hero, I want you! Dan Evans: Honest to God, if I didn't have to do it, I wouldn't, but I heard Alex scream. The town drunk gave his life because he believed that people should be able to live in decency and peace together. Do you think I can do less?
Mark Evans: You gonna tell the marshal what those men did? William Evans: Marshal ain't doing shit! Alice Evans: William... Dan Evans: First thing, Mark, I'm gonna take you boys and we're gonna round up the herd, and then I'm going into town. Mark Evans: What are you gonna do in town? Dan Evans: I'm gonna tell Hollander to make this right. I'm gonna tell him to pay for a new barn. Mark Evans: Maybe we should just shoot him like Will says.
Bisbee Marshal: Do I have two volunteers? First Posse Member: We gotta know what we're gettin' ourselves into. Second Posse Member: Sure... might not be safe. Bisbee Marshal: Safe! Who knows what's safe? I knew a man dropped dead from lookin' at his wife. My own grandmother fought the Indians for sixty years... then choked to death on lemon pie. Do I have two volunteers?
Bisbee Marshal: Now the way I figure it, the faster we get him out of here, the safer. Alex Potter, town drunk: That's right! We'll outsmart 'em every step! We'll outsmart 'em! Bisbee Marshal: We only got two, three hours head start. They'll probably figure we're going to take him to Fort Huachuca and turn him in there. Alex Potter, town drunk: Sure they will! Bisbee Marshal: And if they don't figure that, they'll figure we've taken him to Benson. Alex Potter, town drunk: That's a fact! Bisbee Marshal: And if they don't figure that, then they'll figure we've taken him to Contention City and put him on the 3:10 to Yuma.
Ben Wade: Have you ever read a book in your life, Byron, except the bible? Byron McElroy: No need.
Byron McElroy: If you're gonna kill me, just as soon get to it. Ben Wade: I ain't gonna kill you. Not like this. Byron McElroy: Won't change a thing, lettin' me live. I'll come for you. Ben Wade: I'd be disappointed if you didn't.
[after discovering where their leader has been hidden, one of Wade's gang members rides off to gather the outlaws to rescue their leader] Ben Wade: Now don't go blamin' yourself, because it isn't your fault, you know. He'd have seen the same thing in Benson or Huachuca. No matter where you take me, somebody would be ridin' for help right now. You see, when one of us gets caught, we figure out all the places where they might take us and then we send one man ahead to each of those places... and wait... and watch.
Bisbee Marshal: Alex, have you been drinking this morning or not? Alex Potter, town drunk: Marshal, you know I never touch a drop until the stroke of noon.
Ben Wade: I mean, I don't go around just shootin' people down... I work quiet, like you. Dan Evans: All right, so you're quiet like me. Well then, shut up like me.
Ben Wade: Hey, you know you look kind of skinny. Emmy: I feel skinny. Ben Wade: That's all right. I don't mind a skinny girl - just so she has blue eyes to make up for it. You got blue eyes? Emmy: Brown. Ben Wade: That's all right. They don't have to be blue. [they kiss passionately]
Ben Wade: Well, you did it, Dan.
[last lines] Dan Evans: Why did you do it, Ben? Ben Wade: I don't like owing anybody any favors. You saved my life back at the hotel. That's all right, I've broken out of Yuma before. Dan Evans: Well, my job's finished when I get you there.
Charlie Prince: [as Dan is lying on the ground] For a one legged rancher, he was one tough son of a bitch.
Ben Wade: You ever been to San Francisco? Alice Evans: If it's all right by you Mr Wade, I'd rather we not talk Ben Wade: So you never been to San Francisco? Alice Evans: No Ben Wade: I knew a girl there. She was the daughter of a Sea-Captain. She had the most beautiful green eyes. About the greenest eyes I ever saw. Like yours. And I'd stare deep into them and they'd just change color infront of me. All the colors of the sea. What'd you say your name was again? Dan Evans: Alice?
Ben Wade: [gets up] Well then! [everyone points their guns at him] Ben Wade: I gotta take a piss.
Ben Wade: What are you squeezin' that watch for? Squeezin' that watch ain't gonna stop time.
[Prince has been pretending to sleep in the lobby of the hotel where they're holding Ben Wade] Charlie Prince: Any strangers come in town? Hotel Proprietor-Bartender: Not since you went to sleep, sir. Charlie Prince: I might as well go along. She won't come now. Hotel Proprietor-Bartender: Who was you plannin' to meet? Charlie Prince: My wife - she ran off with a travelin' man. Hotel Proprietor-Bartender: She did? Charlie Prince: That's why I've been sittin' up all night. I figgered he'd bring her here. Hotel Proprietor-Bartender: Well, whaddaya know? Mine ran off, too. I wonder why they do that. Charlie Prince: I don't know. I've always treated mine alright - never hit her too hard.
Ben Wade: [Talking to William about Dodge City] Woman'll do things to ya, you'll never forget. Doc Potter: They give you disease you'll never forget.
Charlie Prince: [to the townsfolk firing at both fugitives] Not the black hat! The rancher, you dumb shits! The rancher!
Marshal Weathers: Can I help you? Charlie Prince: I think maybe a coach headed for here got itself held up in the canyon about ten miles back... Butterfield: God damn it. Charlie Prince: ...by Mr. Ben Wade himself. Marshal Weathers: How did you know it was Wade? Butterfield: It's been him the last twenty-one times, Marshal. Charlie Prince: I saw a Mexican sharpshooter and an Apache. Marshal Weathers: God damn it. Jesus Christ. Charlie Prince: And I've been told... Kane: [interrupting him] Did you see The Hand of God? Charlie Prince: What's that? Kane: His pistol. Butterfield: Why the hell didn't you do something? Charlie Prince: They had a lot of weapons, mister... and they were shootin' bullets.
Dan Evans: You're so sure that your crew's comin' to get you? Byron McElroy: They're lost without him; like a pack of dogs without a master.
Ben Wade: [Surveying the wreckage of the war wagon] 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.
Ben Wade: [to Tucker, who's holding his gun] Be careful with that thing. That gun's got a curse on it. [Tucker chuckles] Ben Wade: Laugh while you can.
Doc Potter: Is it true that you dynamited a wagon full of prospectors in the western territories last spring? Ben Wade: No, that's a lie... It was a train full.
Dan Evans: You say one more word, and I'll cut you down right here. Ben Wade: I like this side of you, Dan.
Ben Wade: Byron, what an unpleasant surprise.
[Dan returns to his ranch after seeing the stage hold-up] Mrs. Alice Evans: Well, I'm glad you're back safe. Heavens, anything could have happened. Dan Evans: Well, there was no danger... not to us, anyway. Mrs. Alice Evans: It just seems so terrible. Dan Evans: Why? What's terrible? Mrs. Alice Evans: Nothing. Dan Evans: What's the matter? Mrs. Alice Evans: Nothing. It seems terrible that something bad can happen and all anybody can do is stand by and watch. Dan Evans: Lots of things happen where all you can do is stand by and watch.
Ben Wade: Is the marshal around? Emmy: He's in his office. Ben Wade: Well, you tell him that the coach from Contention was help up. We passed it on the way in. They don't have any horses. Didn't you hear what I said? Emmy: Yeah, I heard. Ben Wade: Well, why don't you tell him. Emmy: Well, the marshal takes his nap between one and two.
Emmy: No one forgets Velvet.
[first lines] Alice Evans: [upon hearing Dan cock his rifle] Dan... Maybe it's the wind.
[after shooting Tommy Darden] Ben Wade: 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.
Dan Evans: [Referring to Ben] For God's sake, he's killed more men than the drought!
Ben Wade: Just you left, Dan. Just you and your boy.
Charlie Prince: [while riding into Bisbee] This town's gonna burn!
Ben Wade: You ever worked for a one-eyed Irishman in Leadville?
[last lines] William Evans: Pa.
Dan Evans: What time is it? Ticket Clerk: About ten past three. Dan Evans: Where's the 3:10 to Yuma? Ticket Clerk: Running late, I suppose. Ben Wade: Goddamn trains. Never can rely on 'em, huh?
Charlie Prince: [after setting his coach on fire] Where is he? Crawley: Open the door. Open the door. Let me outta here, god damn it. Charlie Prince: Where did they take him? Crawley: I don't know. Charlie Prince: Mister, you better tell me... where they took him... or you will burn.
Charlie Prince: Morning, Pinkerton. Name's Charlie Prince. I expect you heard of me. [steps on Byron's hand] Byron McElroy: Well, I heard of a balled-up whore named Charlie Princess. That you, missy? [Charlie shoots Byron in the stomach] Charlie Prince: I hate Pinkertons.
Marshal Weathers: They're probably just running late, Mr. Butterfield. Butterfield: Pinkertons don't run late. That's why they're paid eighteen dollars a day.