Today, this notion seems very naive and quaint--if not downright dunderheaded--and it did forty-years-ago too. It should be remembered that in his later movies, Ford began to show the beginnings of the cynicism that was to come in the "Spaghetti Westerns" of Leone and Sergio Corbucci, and Sam Peckinpah.
These were the "revisionist" westerns, and so is the remake of "3:10 to Yuma," a new classic of the genre. Looking-back, the Ford films are certainly classics, but also terminal artifacts of the ideals and naivete of their time, when Americans badly needed heroes to emulate and to give them hope in a world that was either crumbling or on fire. Americans needed a sense that the "good guys" prevailed, at least sometimes. In Ford's films, it was almost every time. That must have been satisfying to audiences during the Great Depression and WWII, but what about today?