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Three Godfathers (1936)

MGM wasn’t noted for its westerns, but when they made one, they went all out, even at a time when few studios were making big-budget oaters. For this one, they bought the rights to Peter B. Kyne’s perennial Christmas favorite, which had already been filmed six times, and assigned legendary theater artist and acting teacher Richard Boleslawski to direct. They even let him shoot on location in the Mojave Desert. Chester Morris, Lewis Stone and Walter Brennan star as three outlaws who, on the run after robbing a bank in New Jerusalem, come across a dying woman who’s just given birth. Their trek to get the child to a good home makes for a powerful drama much more realistic than director John Ford’s idealized 1948 remake. 

d. Richard Boleslawski, 81m, 35mm