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3 Godfathers (1948)

Passed | | Drama, Western | 1 December 1948 (USA)
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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.

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Cast

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

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) »

Taglines:

John Ford's Legend of the Southwest! (lobby card) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 December 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Three Godfathers  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,243,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Fordhad previously directed a silent film version of the same story, called Marked Men (1919). No prints of this films are known to be in existence. See more »

Goofs

When the three Godfathers leave the covered wagon with little Robert William Pedro, the canvas is coming loose in the wind. Later when Purly Sweet and his posse arrive at the covered wagon, the canvas is tied down firmly. See more »

Quotes

[Buck has just donned his vest, revealing his sheriff's badge]
Perley 'Buck' Sweet: I'll be seeing you boys... prob'ly.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Three Kings (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Bringing in the Sheaves
(uncredited)
Written by Knowles Shaw and George A. Minor
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sentimental and affecting piece from Ford.
3 October 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Having already made a version of the story in 1919 as Marked Men with Harry Carey, John Ford clearly had a kink for this delightful redemption parable. Opening with a touching tribute to his friend and mentor Carey, who had sadly passed away the previous year (and who also starred in the 1916 version of The Three Godfathers), it was also the first out and out Ford Western to be made in colour.

The story tells of three outlaws - Robert Hightower (John Wayne), Pedro "Pete" Fuerte (Pedro Armendariz) and The Abilene Kid (Harry Carey Junior) - who after robbing a bank in the town of Welcome, are on the run from the law led posse. After hitting problems in a desert sandstorm, the men struggle on to Terrapin Tanks, where they happen across a woman in labour. Giving birth to her child, but sadly on her death bed, the woman begs the men to take care of her baby. They agree and embark on a perilous journey to get the child safely to "New Jerusalem"...

It's an odd sort of Western, but in a good way. Backed up by the usual high standard of location work from Ford and the irrepressible Winton Hoch. And with customary staunch support work from Ward Bond as the Sheriff, 3 Godfathers is a must see in relation to the careers of John Ford and John Wayne. It has a mixed reputation from fans of the two Johns, which is understandable given the flighty nature of the picture, but one thing that is true about the piece is that once viewed, it's unlikely to be forgotten. 7/10


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