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".
This film was first telecast in New York City on WCBS 4 September 1957, in Los Angeles on KTTV 20 December 1957, and in San Francisco on KGO-TV 9 May 1958. 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.