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Three Godfathers, The (1948)


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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 (Mono), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • 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 (145 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000O599US
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,134 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Three Godfathers, The (1948)" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

3 Godfathers (DVD) (Commemorative Amaray)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
75%
4 star
19%
3 star
6%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 145 customer reviews
John shows that he can do the good guy bad guy with beliveable style.
Mamie Thomas
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.
John Dziadecki
Highly recommend to add to your favorite XMAS classics collection of movies.
P. Hernandez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 69 people found the following review helpful By T O'Brien on February 2, 2003
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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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By John Dziadecki on December 10, 2003
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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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 30, 2000
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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful 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: DVD
This oft-filmed story is from a sentimental novel "The Three Godfathers" written by Peter B. Kyne. John Ford who had earlier made a silent version MARKED MEN (1919) with Harry Carey. Another remake THE THREE GODFATHERS (1936) was a highly acclaimed version directed by Richard Boleslawski. The 3 GODFATHERS (1948) reviewed here is noted for being Ford's first colour film and for its opening touching dedication to one of John Ford's early favourites: `To the memory of Harry Carey' - `Bright star of the early Western Sky.'

Three bank robbers Robert Marmaduke Hightower (John Wayne), Pedro `Pete' Roca Fuerte (Pedro Armendáriz) and William Kearney `The Abilene Kid' (Harry Carey Jr.) ride into the town of Welcome Arizona and rob the local bank on trying to make good their escape they hadn't reckoned on the tenacity of the marshal for the territory of Arizona Perley `Buck' Sweet (Ward Bond) and his deputy Curly (Hank Worden). Forming a posse they hop on a train, hoping to ambush the outlaws at Mojave Tanks. The three bad-men arrive just in time to see the train coming with the posse onboard. Waterless they decide to head north for Terrapin Tanks across a beautiful but hostile desert, hoping that the marshal would figure that they would head for the easier route to Apache Wells.

On arrival at Terrapin Tanks they discover that a greenhorn settler, has left his heavily pregnant wife in a covered wagon and had destroyed the Tanks with dynamite whilst trying to find water. The mother (Mildred Natwick) dies shortly after giving birth to a baby boy, but not before naming the boy Robert William Pedro Hightower after the outlaws and making them Godfathers to her newborn son and further promising to take him to the town of New Jerusalem.
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Three Godfathers, The (1948)
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