DIRECTED BY JOHN FORD
PRODUCED BY JOHN FORD and MERIAN C. COOPER
ARGOSY PICTURE CORPORATION
Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas
INFORMATION FROM IMDb
Three outlaws on the run discover a dying woman and her baby.
They swear to bring the infant to safety across the desert,
even at the risk of their own lives.
Summary written by Jim Beaver
John Wayne .... Robert Marmaduke Hightower
Pedro Armendáriz .... Pedro "Pete' Roca Fuerte
Harry Carey Jr. .... William Kearney ('The Abilene Kid')
Ward Bond .... Perley 'Buck' Sweet
Mae Marsh .... Mrs. Perley Sweet
Mildred Natwick .... The Mother
Jane Darwell .... Miss Florie
Guy Kibbee .... Judge
Dorothy Ford .... Ruby Latham
Ben Johnson .... Posse man #1
Charles Halton .... Oliver Latham
Hank Worden .... Deputy Curly
Jack Pennick .... Luke (the conductor)
Fred Libby .... Deputy
Michael Dugan .... Posse man #2
Don Summers .... Posse man #3
Gertrude Astor .... Townswoman (uncredited)
Ruth Clifford .... Woman in bar (uncredited)
Jack Curtis .... Bartender (uncredited)
Francis Ford .... Drunken oldtimer at bar (uncredited)
Richard Hageman .... Saloon pianist (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons .... Guard at Mojave Tanks (uncredited)
Eva Novak .... Townswoman (uncredited)
Harry Tenbrook .... Bartender #2 (uncredited)
Amelia Yelda ... Robert William Pedro Hightower (the Baby) (uncredited)
Peter B. Kyne (story)
Laurence Stallings (screenplay) and
Frank S. Nugent (screenplay)
Winton C. Hoch
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edward O'Fearna .... assistant director
Wingate Smith .... assistant director
Ben Johnson .... stunts (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Montgomery .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Williams .... stunts (uncredited)
* For the scene where Deputy Curly (Hank Worden) has trouble pulling a mule about a train, director John Ford rigged the reins to pull backwards whenever Worden pulled forward.
* When John Wayne is "greasing" the baby boy, Robert William Pedro, it is evident that the baby boy is actually a baby girl.
* This is a remake of John Ford's silent film Marked Men (1919), which starred Ford's long-time friend Harry Carey. When Carey died in 1947, Ford decided to remake the story in Technicolor and dedicate the film to his memory. Carey's son, Harry Carey Jr., plays one of the three, "The Abilene Kid".
* John Ford had a greensman water a cactus overnight to allow it to be squeezed for water.
John Wayne's character, Robert Marmaduke Hightower, was named by director John Ford after his favorite stuntman, Bryan 'Slim' Hightower, who also worked on this picture.
Link this trivia
John Wayne was badly sun burnt while filming 3 Godfathers (1948) and was briefly hospitalized.
* Continuity: The Bible used as a prop has marginal cross-references, but the Bible pages used in the close-up shot, as read by Bob, do not.
* Anachronisms: Power lines are visible overhead behind Ruby Latham when the stagecoach is stopped in Welcome, Arizona.
* Continuity: Shortly after the three riders enter the desert Hightower discovers that Pedro's water bag is empty and throws it away. As they ride away in a long shot, the water bag is still visible on Pedro's horse.
* Continuity: When the three Godfathers leave the covered wagon with little Robert William Pedro, the canvas is coming loose in the wind. Later when Purly Sweet and his posse arrive at the covered wagon, the canvas is tied down firmly.
* Continuity: After the three godfathers rob the bank, a covered wagon is seen passing by them as they board their horses but in the next scene they are riding in front of the wagon.
* Continuity: In the chase scenes after the bank robbery, the shadows change location repeatedly, indicating the scenes were shot at different times of the day.
* Continuity: When Bob Hightower is greasing the baby, Bill Kearny holds up his hat to give shade over the baby. At that point, the sun is high in the east. But in the next shot, when they are finished greasing the baby and are applying a makeshift diaper, the shadow from the covered wagon shows that the sun is to the west.
* Revealing mistakes: When Hightower is greasing the baby, who is referred to as a boy, is played by a girl.
* Continuity: When Pedro first skips the saddle the horse without the saddle is black. Later when the horses are pulled behind a dune, it is brown.
* Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): While Wayne is holding the baby at the wagon, Pete is asked if he got any information about looking after the baby from its dying mother. He is supposed to say "Do you think I was going to drive the lady crazy?" what he says is "Do you think I was going to drive the lazy crazy?"
* Revealing mistakes: When Ben Johnston is standing in the buckboard when the sheriff and 3 deputies use it to chase the 3 bank robbers out of town, he has one leg behind him bracing himself to stay standing while the horses gallop. There is a strap secured to the tray of the buckboard and he has the toe of his boot wedged in it to help keep his balance.
* Revealing mistakes: Near the end of the movie, Hightower reads a bible passage Matthew, yet the bible is open close to the beginning.
Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California, USA
Carson & Colorado Railroad, Owens Valley, California, USA
Keeler, California, USA
Mojave Desert, California, USA
RKO Encino Ranch - Balboa Boulevard & Burbank Boulevard, Encino, Los Angeles, California, USA
Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, California, USA
Death Valley National Park, California, USA