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3 Godfathers

4.7 out of 5 stars 174 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

3 Godfathers (DVD) (Commemorative Amaray)

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").

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Jr. Pedro Armendáriz, Jr. Harry Carey, Ward Bond, Mae Marsh
  • Directors: John Ford
  • Writers: Frank S. Nugent, Laurence Stallings
  • Producers: John Ford, Merian C. Cooper
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2007
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000O599US
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,548 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "3 Godfathers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Many people know about John Wayne and John Ford's cavalry trilogy, three of the greatest westerns ever made, but another pairing between the two is not as well known. The Three Godfathers is a lesser-known John Wayne classic when he was at the top of his game. Starring Harry Carey Jr. and Pedro Armendariz as the other two godfathers this classic should not be missed. These three outlaws ride into the desert after a bungled robbery only to find a dying woman with a newborn infant. The Duke promises to care for the baby which she names Robert William Pedro Hightower after the three outlaws. They must then make the trek across the desert with very little supplies to get the baby to the next town. Excellent supporting cast with many recognizable faces from other Duke movies, with Ward Bond playing the sheriff who attempts to track down the outlaws. Truly funny scenes as Wayne, Armendariz, and Carey attempt to care for the baby. As usual awesome scenery as is expected in John Ford westerns. This is one classic that has to be put on DVD. A must have for John Wayne fans!
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Format: VHS Tape
All the positive comments you read here about this film are true.

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.)
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
There are many reasons not to miss this beautiful 1948 film: It's exquisitely directed by John Ford, The cinematography by Winton C. Hoch is remarkable, John Wayne is looking and performing at his absolute best, and my personal reason for owning this video, the wonderful Pedro Armendariz, who is magnificent in it.
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.
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By A Customer on July 30, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I'm giving this four stars instead of five simply because five stars is reserved for true masterpieces - for films virtually without flaw. This film is flawed, but oh so wonderfully lovable. I won't bother to retell the plot, as others have already done a better job than I can, but I will just say what I love about it.
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.
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Format: VHS Tape
Here's a movie that shows John Wayne in a slightly different light. We are used to the grizzled veteran, usually 100% in charge, making sure all around him follow his code, whether politically correct or not. In this movie he's a bad guy, who's far from in charge. He not only has the authorities after him, but even John Wayne, as strapping as he is in this movie, has his hands full as he takes on nature itself.
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.
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