The Best Elmore Leonard Movie Adaptations

Legendary writer Elmore “Dutch” Leonard died this morning, surrounded by friends and family. He was 87 years old, and was one of America’s most distinctive and influential genre novelists, penning over 40 books and numerous short stories. Yet he wasn’t just known to bookworms; his work inspired television shows (including the current Justified) and several excellent films. Our favorite Leonard movies are assembled after the jump, along with links to those currently available for streaming.

3:10 to Yuma

Leonard’s 1953 story “Three-Ten to Yuma,” first published in the perfectly titled Dime Western Magazine, was adapted to the screen not once, but twice. In 1957, Delmer Daves told Leonard’s story of a desperate rancher (Van Heflin) who forms a peculiar bond with the criminal (Glenn Ford) he’s escorting to the title train. (This version was recently given the full treatment by the kind folks at the Criterion Collection.) The 2007 remake by James Mangold (Cop Land, The Wolverine) placed Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in the Ford and Heflin roles, and came up with a refreshingly old-fashioned, no-nonsense oater. (1957 version available for purchase on Amazon Instant Video and iTunes; 2007 version available for rental or purchase on Amazon Instant Video and iTunes.)