Friday, October 23, 2009

3 Godfathers

The music accompanying the opening credits was very familiar but I couldn't place it and it haunted me until later in 3 Godfathers when it was played again and the lyrics were included. Then I recognized it as the ballad Joan Hackett (Alice Banion in The Legacy of Charlie O'Rourke) sang but since she didn't sing the whole song, I never realized it was "The Streets of Laredo."

I searched the Internet hoping to find a clip of her singing the song but was not successful; however, I did find one of Johnny Cash singing all the verses and have included a link to it at the end of this entry. Burl Ives also sings the song but I couldn't find a video clip of him singing it online, though I did purchase it from iTunes. I quite like the song now!

As far as this 1948 movie (which is in color, by the way) goes, it's about three bank robbers--played by John Wayne, Pedro Armendariz, and Harry Carey, Jr.--who are chased by a posse through the desert. The youngest outlaw, known as the Abilene Kid and called Kid, has been shot. They have no water; encounter a sandstorm and try to find shelter; and when the storm abates, they discover that their horses have run off and they have to walk out of the desert. Of course, these scenes reminded me of Smiler with a Gun.

I was also reminded of Six Strangers at Apache Springs when the men reach a place called Apache Wells, where they thought they'd finally obtain water; unfortunately, circumstances prevented that and they had to resort to squeezing moisture out of barrel head cacti to survive. Which made me wonder why Heyes and Kid didn't do the same when they were in the desert. I won't relate any more of the plot except to say there is death in the desert in 3 Godfathers and that the symbolism of the story is pretty obvious.

Pedro Armendariz apparently was a very well-known Mexican actor of the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s and I wonder if Roy Huggins named Caesar Romero's character after him.

YouTube clip of Johnny Cash singing "Streets of Laredo":