This is a remake of the silent film The Three Godfathers (1916), which starred Ford's long-time friend Harry Carey. When Carey died in 1947, Ford decided to remake the story in Technicolor and dedicate the film to his memory. Carey's son, Harry Carey Jr., plays one of the three, "The Abilene Kid". The film Three Godfathers (1936) is based on the same source, so this film is, in some sense, a remake of that film as well.
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.