3 Godfathers

1948

Drama / Western

11
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 87% · 15 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 78% · 1K ratings
IMDb Rating 7.0/10 10 10638 10.6K

Director

Top cast

John Wayne as Robert Marmaduke Sangster Hightower
Ben Johnson as Posse Man #1
Hank Worden as Deputy Curly
Harry Carey Jr. as William Kearney
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
977.04 MB
1280*934
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 46 min
Seeds 10
1.77 GB
1480*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 46 min
Seeds 26
976.45 MB
958*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 46 min
Seeds 5
1.77 GB
1438*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 46 min
Seeds 9

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by utgard14 7 / 10

Feliz Navidad, Duke

Three outlaws (John Wayne, Pedro Armendariz, Harry Carey Jr.) rob a bank and are chased into the desert by the local sheriff (the always great Ward Bond). In the desert they come upon a wagon and inside is a pregnant woman, who happens to be the sheriff's niece. Helped by the three outlaws, she gives birth. Before she dies, she names the three men the baby's godfathers and makes them promise to take care of him.

This is a story that has been made many times before, although this version is the best in my opinion. This is the first version I saw so perhaps that colors my opinion somewhat. But I feel this is the most accessible telling of the story. The cast is great and the director is John Ford so that's all I need to say there. It's a different kind of holiday film but a very nice one. John Wayne fans will appreciate it most.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 9 / 10

Robert, William, Pedro

Like The Maltese Falcon, 3 Godfathers had to be made three times before we got the definitive version. This one has to rank at the top of John Wayne's films.

Wayne and fellow outlaws Pedro Armendariz and Harry Carey, Jr. arrive at the town of Welcome, Arizona and after a brief chance meeting with the marshal, Ward Bond, proceed to rob the Welcome bank.

In pursuit of the robbers, Bond shoots the waterbag draped across Wayne's saddle. And then he cleverly stations men at the few sources of water. Nevertheless the three outlaws decide to chance it across the desert.

Life takes a peculiar turn for them as they come across a dying Mildred Natwick who has just delivered an infant. Before she goes she exacts a promise from them to rescue her baby.

Even though their own freedom is at stake, Wayne, Armendariz, and Carey subordinate it to the care and rescue of the infant. At this point the Christmas parable takes over. The three wise men setting out with the infant in their charge to the nearest town which happens to be New Jerusalem, Arizona.

I said on another review of a Wayne film that John Wayne had one of the greatest faces for movie closeups ever. Check some of them here, especially during the desert trek. They say more than 10 pages of dialog. Ford, Hawks, Wellman all the great directors who worked with the Duke knew that and took advantage.

Pedro Armendariz and John Ford came to blow up on the set of 3 Godfathers according to Harry Carey, Jr.'s memoirs. Armendariz almost walked off the film. He finished it though and was great as the fatalistic Mexican outlaw. But he never worked for Ford again.

Although he'd done a few films before this, John Ford had in the credits, introducing Harry Carey, Jr. Of course the film is dedicated to his father who in fact had starred in the original silent Three Godfathers. Maybe this should have really been his debut film, Dobe Carey is just fine as the callow youth, The Abilene Kid.

This also marked the last film of veteran actor Guy Kibbee. As the practical and perceptive judge who tries Wayne, Kibbee is given a fitting swan song to a great career as a player.

This is certainly a more religious work than John Wayne is used to doing. Wayne, although he was baptized Catholic at the end of his life was not a particularly religious man. I do wonder if he had lived another decade what he would have made of the religious right.

Ford of course got in his obligatory Shall We Gather At the River, but also Bringing in the Sheaves was sung. And in the scene where a dehydrated John Wayne arrives at a saloon in New Jerusalem, the piano player is first playing The Holy City and then Silent Night. All to great effect by the way.

I think people that are not necessarily fans of the Duke will be amazed at the heights he rose to as a player in 3 Godfathers.

Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend 7 / 10

Sentimental and affecting piece from Ford.

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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