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Screen legend John Wayne ("Stagecoach," "Rio Bravo," "True Grit," "The Searchers") stars in this touching western about three half-hearted outlaws who go on the run with an orphaned infant they find in the desert. Directed by the great Oscar-winner John Ford ("Stagecoach," "Mogambo," "The Grapes of Wrath"). Co-starring Ward Bond ("My Darling Clementine," "Gentleman Jim"), Harry Carey Jr. ("Tombstone") and Oscar-nominee Mildred Natwick ("Barefoot in the Park").]]>
Top Customer Reviews
This classic western stars John Wayne, Pedro Armendariz and Harry Carey Jr, along with a great supporting cast lead by Ward Bond -- the usual John Ford suspects. Ford strikes a balance between action and sentimentality, directing this simple story in a straightforward fashion with a great sense of style. This is Ford's first color film and cinematography by Winton C. Hoch looks really, really rich and with enough sand to make you wish you had some lemonade.
Duke really shines in this film -- just watch those expressions.
Restored to its original pristine 1948 35mm real Technicolor glory, "3 Godfathers" is a natural for the Christmas season. This heartwarming drama is a gritty, tender, timeless classic. A film the whole family can watch.
This sleeper film in the WB/MGM catalog was way, W A Y overdue on DVD in the US. But here it is, most welcomed and highly recommended!
(I've revised my original 2003 review to reflect this title's availability on DVD. Released with zero fanfare, I was first aware of its release when I saw a newspaper ad for it one week before Christmas 2005.)
It's a sentimental tale of 3 bandidos with hearts of gold, completeing a promise they made to a dying woman to take care of her baby, and it's so well written and lovingly made that it never gets corny. This is good old fashioned entertainment, and entertaining it is, as these heroic good/bad men are chased by the sheriff and his posse across the desert, with a Bible as their map. John Ford made many inspirational films, and this is one of my favorites.
The performances: Pedro Armendariz & Harry Carey Jr. are wonderful. I think of the scene where Pedro steels his resolve and heads into the tattered covered wagon to help deliver Mildred Natwick's child; his face reveals a wonderful mixture of dread, awe, responsibility, resolve, strength, determination... And John Wayne is at his irascible, lovable best - at turns impatient and scolding, tender and understanding - truly avuncular. He is clearly the leader of the group, and being 6'4" of John Wayne, he commands (and gets!) most of our attention, but never in a way that diminishes the other two men or moves them too far into the background. The relationship between the three characters is wonderfully drawn and complementary; obviously they all had great chemistry together.
The story: The desert is a harsh and unforgiving place, but this film shows that even in the desert you can find redemption. Robert Hightower's soul is in a spiritual desert and it is for this reason that he must be the one to bring the baby to New Jerusalem. He has to find his own redemption and his own peace walking with God, which the other two men already seem to have. I know some may not share in the Christian faith that John Ford obviously had and thus may find the symbolism in this film heavy-handed, but I for one think it lent a great deal of emotional depth.Read more ›
The story has Wayne leading (OK, he gets to lead two other bad guys) a group of bank robbers plying their trade in a small town. They are so inept they practically announce their intentions to the local sheriff. While barely escaping this endeavor (this is not revealing anything, only setting up the main plot), they find their escape routes are either right into the hands of the law, or a murderous desert.
Seems they could have planned this a bit better, but this sets up their vulnerability early. It is on this trek through the desert they run across a dying mother who has just given birth. If one takes the movie too literally, one can wonder where this mother's brains were, but we try to look further and find that we're right around Christmas, we have a baby born in a desert, and we have three definitely Un-Wise Men on a mission. OK, it doesn't exactly fit like you might want, but their trying to make more than a shoot-'em-up, and it does work.
So we see two stories unfolding at this point. One deals with whether the boys are going to survive the elements, much less the pursuing lawmen. Ward Bond is excellent here as the sheriff who does an increasingly slow burn about having to pursue them. And we need to see what's going to happen to the baby.
All of this happens in a beautifully photographed movie.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful Christmas present. This is actually a Western Christmas story. One of my mom's favorite movies and now one of mine.Published 1 month ago by Linda J.
One of my early John Wayne favorites.....if you're a Wayne fan, this is a good one to have in your collection. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Roxanna Seeto
A John Wayne/John Ford Republic "make-up" contract movie and the best of all of them. That's strong competition for "Angel and the Badman". Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ricky D. Earp
Here is a old John Wayne classic movie that is great for a Sunday afternoon. When you watch John Wayne you just cant go wrong.Published 3 months ago by poetwriter
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