Three Godfathers

Three Godfathers

2.0 1
Director: John Ford

Cast: John Ford, John Wayne, Harry Carey Jr., Ward Bond

     
 

John Ford had already directed one of the three previous film versions of Peter Kyne's novel under the title Marked Men (1919) with his mentor Harry Carey, a great cowboy star of the silent era who had recently died. It's not difficult to see how the story's sentimentality and Christian symbolism might have appealed to the director's sensibility. John WayneSee more details below

Overview

John Ford had already directed one of the three previous film versions of Peter Kyne's novel under the title Marked Men (1919) with his mentor Harry Carey, a great cowboy star of the silent era who had recently died. It's not difficult to see how the story's sentimentality and Christian symbolism might have appealed to the director's sensibility. John Wayne stars as Bob Hightower, the leader of a trio of thieves who rob a bank in Arizona and take off with the posse of Sheriff Buck Sweet (Ward Bond) in close pursuit. Although they need to stop to water their horses and care for the wounds of Abilene (Harry Carey Jr.), their accurate suspicion that the sheriff is laying an ambush for them at the Mohave water tank leads the gang toward the more distant Terrapin tanks. However, en route, they're waylaid by a terrible sandstorm which scatters their horses. Forced to go on foot, they come upon a lone woman (Mildred Natwick) in a covered wagon who is about to give birth. She dies in childbirth, but not before extracting a promise from the three to take care of her child. Under a blistering sun, they head for New Jerusalem.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Wim Wenders once described the films of John Ford with a phrase to the effect that he gives all of his characters their dignity. It's a description that applies to this allegory of redemption, in which the majesty of the director's familiar landscapes becomes the backdrop for an enactment of Christian ritual. Given this structure, Ford minimizes the individuality of the characters and relies more heavily on the mise-en-scéne to achieve his ends. Although the director naturally imputes a religious significance to the birth of the child, the event also functions as it does in Stagecoach (1939) and elsewhere in the director's work: as a symbol of hope and a harbinger of peace in the midst of conflict. Wayne draws on the avuncular side of his nature, but Ford uses him as essentially an icon here, and the image of the craggy cowboy bearing the infant across the pitiless desert is one that lingers in the mind.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/22/2007
UPC:
0012569798595
Original Release:
1948
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:46:00
Sales rank:
10,955

Special Features

Theatrical trailer; Languages: English & Français; Subtitles: English, Français & Español; (Feature film only)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Wayne Robert Marmaduke Hightower
Harry Carey William Kearney, "The Abilene Kid"
Ward Bond Perley "Buck" Sweet
Mae Marsh Mrs. Perley Sweet
Mildred Natwick Mother
Jane Darwell Miss Florie
Guy Kibbee Judge
Dorothy Ford Ruby Latham
Ben Johnson Patrolman
Ruth Clifford Woman in Bar
Michael Dugan Patrolman
Francis Ford Drunken Old-Timer at Bar
Richard Hageman Saloon Pianist
Charles Halton Mr. Latham
Fred Libby Deputy Sheriff "Curly"
Cliff Lyons Guard at Mojave Tanks
Jack Pennick Luke
Don Summers Patrolman
Hank Worden Deputy Sheriff
Pedro Armendariz Pedro "Pete" Roca Fuerte

Technical Credits
John Ford Director,Producer
James Basevi Art Director
Merian C. Cooper Producer
Richard Hageman Score Composer
Winton Hoch Cinematographer
Joseph Kish Set Decoration/Design
Jack Murray Editor
Frank S. Nugent Screenwriter
Laurence Stallings Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- 3 Godfathers
1. Credits and Dedication [3:06]
2. Ain't Backing Down [2:19]
3. The Sweets [3:56]
4. A Little Bank Robbery [3:32]
5. Escape Into the Desert [3:56]
6. More Deputies, Less Water [2:58]
7. No Tanks [3:14]
8. Heading Northeast [3:15]
9. Windstorm [3:24]
10. No Horses [2:07]
11. Miss Florie's Guests [2:22]
12. A Woman Alone [4:41]
13. Mother's Helper [4:25]
14. Godfathers [5:21]
15. Change of Plan [3:46]
16. For Baby [3:36]
17. Doctor's Advice [4:10]
18. Lullaby [4:21]
19. To Jerusalem [6:39]
20. $150 Dead [4:37]
21. Dying Prayer [6:59]
22. Pedro's Fall [3:58]
23. End of the Water [3:50]
24. End of the Trail [3:12]
25. As the Book Said [1:50]
26. Christmas Arrivals [2:18]
27. Extenuating Circumstances [5:22]
28. Godfather's Sendoff [2:40]

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