The Three Godfathers
Cast & Crew
Edward J. Le Saint
Ruby Merrill, an employee of an orange packing factory, suffers a breakdown because of stress. Emerging from the hospital penniless and friendless, she travels West and becomes a dance hall hostess. She meets Bob, a cowpoke, and they fall in love, but his past as a horsethief catches up with him when three fellow convicts come to town. Bob is persuaded to become an accomplice when the trio robs the Wells Fargo Bank. After a gun battle with the sheriff, the three survivors escape into the Mojave Desert, where they assist a dying woman in childbirth and become "godfathers" to the baby. The three thieves sacrifice their own needs for the baby's, and, after much hardship, only Bob and the baby make it to town. When Bob and the sheriff return to the desert to recover the robbery money, the sheriff discovers a family bible and realizes that the dead woman was his sister. He then forgives Bob for the robbery and gives him and Ruby a portion of the reward money for saving the life of his nephew.
Edward J. Le Saint
Kyne's story "Broncho Billy and the Baby," which appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in 1910 and was the basis for an Essanay short film of the same name, is said by one modern source to have been the basis for Kyne's novel The Three Godfathers. The novel was first published in The Saturday Evening Post on November 23, 1912. Parts of the film were shot in the Mojave Desert. Most contemporary sources credit Harvey Gates alone with the adaptation, but the copyright records credit both Gates and Le Saint. The actor "Mr. Briscoe" May be J. F. Briscoe. The film has been remade many times: in 1919 at Universal as Marked Man, with John Ford directing and Carey starring again; in 1930 by Universal as Hell's Heroes, with William Wyler directing and Charles Bickford starring (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.2414); in 1936 by M-G-M with Richard Boleslawski directing and Chester Morris starring; in 1948 by M-G-M, with Ford directing again and John Wayne starring; and by ABC-TV in 1974 as The Godchild, with John Badham directing and Jack Palance starring.