THREE GODFATHERS ( 1936 )

FERNANDO’s CORNER ~ Posted October 2nd, 2016

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This film has been the surprise of the month: THREE GODFATHERS ( 1936  – MGM – Directed by Richard Boleslawski ). I had read about the first two versions of the Classic John Ford film starring John Wayne, especially that “Hell’s Heroes” (1930), the first sound version directed by William Wyler was really very good and worthy of discovery, if one could get hold of a copy of this version; also, that the 1936 film was good, but it is not true, it is not just good, it´s EXCELLENT.

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Boleslawski did a great job directing this gritty and touching epic drama, in which we are able to witness the caliber of Chester Morris’ talent as an actor and his charisma as a movie star. Morris had the same kind of screen persona and charisma of Clark Gable; a tough guy that could be redeemed, because there was an ounce of decency beneath that rough surface. Although I have not seen the 1948 Ford version in a long time, I’d dare to say that this version (in B&W) is even more realistic than the former.

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Lewis Stone as Doc and Walter Brennan as Gus play Morris’ partners in crime with great skill. Their relationship and interaction are very believable and well acted. Dorothy Tree, looking a lot like Minna Gombell is great as Blackie, the saloon girl and Irene Hervey plays Morris’ childhood sweetheart, among other good actors in this photoplay.

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The film’s script is very good and Boleslawski directs the movie with great talent, focusing in every detail of the mise en scene. It is a great film and I urge my fellow movie buffs to watch it. I dare you not to be moved towards the ending. MGM’s “B” films are a treasure trove.

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A great discovery.

 

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