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3 Godfathers (1948)

Passed | | Drama, Western | 1 December 1948 (USA)
3:20 | Trailer

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When 3 outlaws on the run find a dying woman and her newborn baby in the desert they vow to save the child.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pedro Roca Fuerte (as Pedro Armendariz)
Posse Man #1
Deputy Curly
Jack Pennick ...
Fred Libby ...
Michael Dugan ...
Posse Man #2


Three outlaws on the run discover a dying woman and her baby. They swear to bring the infant to safety across the desert, even at the risk of their own lives. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dying | desert | outlaw | newborn | baby | See All (105) »


Color By Technicolor See more »


Drama | Western


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 December 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Three Godfathers  »

Box Office


$1,243,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Ford had a greensman water a cactus overnight to allow it to be squeezed for water. See more »


The coach car on the train in Welcome has 7 windows, no roof-walk, and the number under the windows. The car at Mojave Tanks, which is supposed to be the same, has 5 windows, a roof-walk, and the number in front of the windows. The 5-window car also has no interior, as seen through the rear door. See more »


[as Buck and the deputies are chasing the three outlaws, Buck shoots the outlaws' water bag. He then stops chasing them]
Deputy: Gosh, Marshal, you missed 'em.
Perley 'Buck' Sweet: They ain't payin' me to kill folks. Them Texas boys are gonna be mighty thirsty before they get to water.
See more »


Featured in John Ford et Monument Valley (2013) See more »


Silent Night
Composed by Franz Gruber and Joseph Mohr
(piano instrumental)
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User Reviews

Classic Christmas Movie Parable
29 December 2002 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

This is one Christmas Movie where the bible plays a major role, and there is NO snow for Christmas. Three Bandits place themselves in jeopardy for the sake of a promise they made to a dying mother (Mildred Natwick) to be the three godfathers of her baby. Excellent performances by Armendariz and Carey, Jr. keep this poignant and on the mark. Ward Bond is excellent as the relentless Marshal. Hank Worden, Guy Kibbee, and Jane Darwell lead the cast of pros around for good-natured comic relief. But, this certainly isn't a straight comedy; there's ample drama and opportunity for shedding a few tears, too.

This has been one of my favorite Christmas movie for 30+ years, and repeated viewings only reinforce my love of it.

34 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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