IMDb > 3 Godfathers (1948)
3 Godfathers
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3 Godfathers (1948) More at IMDbPro »

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3 Godfathers -- Trailer for this suspense filled western drama


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Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Laurence Stallings (screenplay) and
Frank S. Nugent (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for 3 Godfathers on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 September 1949 (Sweden) See more »
Color By Technicolor See more »
When 3 outlaws on the run find a dying woman and her newborn baby in the desert they vow to save the child. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
One To Look At See more (47 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Wayne ... Robert Marmaduke Sangster Hightower

Pedro Armendáriz ... Pedro Roca Fuerte (as Pedro Armendariz)

Harry Carey Jr. ... William Kearney ('The Abilene Kid')

Ward Bond ... Perley 'Buck' Sweet

Mae Marsh ... Mrs. Perley Sweet

Mildred Natwick ... The Mother

Jane Darwell ... Miss Florie

Guy Kibbee ... Judge

Dorothy Ford ... Ruby Latham

Ben Johnson ... Posse Man #1

Charles Halton ... Oliver Latham

Hank Worden ... Deputy Curly
Jack Pennick ... Luke
Fred Libby ... Deputy
Michael Dugan ... Posse Man #2
Don Summers ... Posse Man #3
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Gertrude Astor ... Saloon Girl (uncredited)
Nora Bush ... Townswoman (uncredited)

Ruth Clifford ... Woman in Bar (uncredited)

Jack Curtis ... Bartender (uncredited)

Tex Driscoll ... Barfly (uncredited)

Francis Ford ... Drunk (uncredited)
Richard Hageman ... Saloon Pianist (uncredited)

Jack Kenny ... Barfly (uncredited)

Cliff Lyons ... Guard at Mojave Tanks (uncredited)

Jack Mower ... Barfly (uncredited)

Eva Novak ... Townswoman (uncredited)

Charles Soldani ... Townsman (uncredited)

Harry Tenbrook ... Bartender (uncredited)
Amelia Yelda ... Robert William Pedro Hightower (the Baby) (uncredited)

Directed by
John Ford 
Writing credits
Laurence Stallings (screenplay) and
Frank S. Nugent (screenplay)

Peter B. Kyne (story)

Robert Nathan  uncredited

Produced by
Merian C. Cooper .... producer (uncredited)
John Ford .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Richard Hageman 
Cinematography by
Winton C. Hoch  (as Winton Hoch)
Film Editing by
Jack Murray 
Art Direction by
James Basevi 
Set Decoration by
Joseph Kish  (as Joe Kish)
Makeup Department
Don L. Cash .... makeup artist (as Don Cash)
Anna Malin .... hair stylist
Production Management
Lowell J. Farrell .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edward O'Fearna .... assistant director
Wingate Smith .... assistant director
Art Department
Jack Colconda .... properties (as Jack Golconda)
Frank Wesselhoff .... painter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Joseph I. Kane .... sound
D. Pat Kelley .... sound effects (as Patrick Kelley)
Frank Moran .... sound
Special Effects by
Jack Caffee .... special effects
Michael Dugan .... stunts (uncredited)
Bryan 'Slim' Hightower .... stunts (uncredited)
Ben Johnson .... stunts (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons .... stunts (uncredited)
Frank McGrath .... stunt double: Pedro Armendariz (uncredited)
Jack Montgomery .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Williams .... stunts (uncredited)
Terry Wilson .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Charles P. Boyle .... photography: second unit (as Charles Boyle)
Eddie Fitzgerald .... camera operator: second unit (uncredited)
Harvey Gould .... camera operator (uncredited)
Tommy Griffin .... grip (uncredited)
Alexander Kahle .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
D.R.O. Hatswell .... costume researcher
Michael Meyers .... wardrobe: men
Ann Peck .... wardrobe: women
Music Department
Lucien Cailliet .... conductor
Lucien Cailliet .... music arranger
Other crew
Merian C. Cooper .... presenter
Lowell J. Farrell .... assistant to director (as Lowell Farrell)
John Ford .... presenter
Natalie Kalmus .... technicolor color director
Morgan Padelford .... associate technicolor color director
Sid Davis .... stand-in: John Wayne (uncredited)
Stan Jones .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Pat Kelly .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Meta Stern .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Three Godfathers" - UK (imdb display title), USA (alternative spelling)
See more »
106 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Canada:14A (video rating) | Finland:S | Germany:6 | Norway:12 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1995) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (certificate #13312) | West Germany:12 (f) (original rating) | West Germany:0 (re-rating)

Did You Know?

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 »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Pedro is using a rattle you can hear it even when he stops shaking it.See more »
Miss Florie:Good bye and good luck boy. Year in jail do ya' a lotta good!See more »
Movie Connections:
Streets of LaredoSee more »


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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
One To Look At, 14 June 2004
Author: Gene Crokus from United States

`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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