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3 Godfathers (1948)

Passed | | Drama, Western | 5 September 1949 (Sweden)
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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)
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...
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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:

5 September 1949 (Sweden)  »

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

This film was first telecast in Philadelphia Friday 3 May 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in New York City 4 September 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Los Angeles 20 December 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), and in San Francisco 9 May 1958 on Channel 7 (KGO). At this time, color broadcasting was in its infancy, limited to only a small number of high rated programs, primarily on NBC and NBC affiliated stations, so these film showings were all still in B&W. Viewers were not offered the opportunity to see these films in their original Technicolor until several years later. See more »

Goofs

When Hightower is greasing the baby, who is referred to as a boy, is played by a girl. 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 The Flash: Be My Baby (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

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

One To Look At
14 June 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

`Three Godfathers' is cinematographically one of John Ford's finest looking Westerns. The location filming is breathtaking and comes as close as can be found in capturing the beauty of Death Valley. That the story is relatively straightforward, pretty fairly untenable and in Ford fashion highly sentimental is rather inconsequential. This is a great looking movie shot primarily in one of the most starkly striking places on Earth.

John Wayne, Pedro Armendáriz and Harry Carey Jr. (one of his first roles) are bank robbers on the run, saddled with an infant they have promised to care for to its dying mother. They plunge into desperate straights as they flee across the desert. That no part of Death Valley lies close to Arizona (the story is set there) is of no account but again as in all Ford movies his vision of the American West ignores the hundreds of thousand square miles that is not Utah, Monument Valley, or as in this case, Death Valley. And that he pioneered an American View Of The West is undeniable.

Winton C. Hoch was responsible for the cinematography; he later demonstrated his art in `The Searchers' (most famous) and actually won an Oscar for `She Wore A Yellow Ribbon'. His use of color film was extraordinary and any movie he made is best viewed on the big screen.

There are numerous references to Christian views of morality sprinkled throughout the movie; Christmas is revered as the traditional American celebration, a Bible figures in Wayne's worst moments as he struggles against the wilderness and the songs we hear are primarily religious hymns. That some good comes of the efforts of the trio is redemptive enough to raise this effort above the average Western.

It is doubtful this movie could be shot again. It is exceedingly unlikely the disturbance a film crew would make while filming in a national park would be permitted. Try to imagine the rails required for the cameras being laid today.

Score: Three Stars


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