It’s the holiday season, and despite the near complete dearth of overlap between Westerns and Christmas movies, we have gone out of our way to find one, and are met with mixed success! The Christmas film in question is 3 Godfathers, a John Ford film from 1948 that ostensibly retells the story of the Three Kings visiting the Christ Child in the manger, but imagines it as a John Wayne Western that has nothing to do with divinity, and only a bit to do with Christmas. It’s a grim adventure tale about sin and death, with an atonal happy ending! It features John Wayne, Pedro Armendariz and Harry Carey jr. as three bank robbers who, during their escape through the desert, come upon a woman giving birth to a child, and are forced into the role of caretakers for the baby. Along the way, there’s a few things that might kind of remind you of the Christ story, if you squint! But it’s an interesting story nonetheless, and features some beautiful photography, a typically strong Wayne performance, and some more Ward Bond. Topics of conversation range from the melancholy of Streets of Laredo, horrible sandstorms, how to draw water from a cactus, how great The Man Who Would Be King is, what exactly the deal was with the Brementown Musicians (and how involved with Christ were they), and how much people seem to dislike John Ford. Additionally, we talk about a short film by Don Siegel, Star in the Night, a recommendation from one of our listeners! It ends up being what we expected to find in 3 Godfathers, which is an actual retelling of the Birth of Christ as a Western. It’s available on youtube and is well worth a look.

We also have a conversation about the new Star Wars films, Rogue One, and the perennial holiday classic, The Christmas Story. In the new year, we’ll be back with an episode on the Robert Duvall/Kevin Costner throwback western Open Range, one of Dad’s favorites. You can reach us at westernswithdad@gmail.com, where you can make requests for future episodes, and please remember to rate and review us on itunes, which increases our analytics somehow and is good for the podcast! This marks our one year anniversary, so thank you all for listening and making this such a fun project. Looking forward to 2017!

3 Godfathers stars John Wayne, Pedro Armendariz, Harry Carey jr., and Ward Bond. It was directed by Ward Bond.



This episode focuses on Maverick, an adaptation of the old TV show, featuring Mel Gibson in his only stab at the Western. It’s a goofy romp, very laid back and upbeat, and probably a bit better than its reputation at this point, by virtue of being so lightweight. Featuring a script by William Goldman, it’s a story riverboat gambling, con artists and some brief Saturday afternoon adventure, featuring Gibson, Jodie Foster, and the star of the original Maverick, James Garner. In the end, I think we’re mostly pretty positive about it, but in truth, if you’re a fan of digressions, this is the episode for you. Free of the obligation placed on us by having to speak about a truly important film that people really care about, we follow Maverick’s lead and just amble around discussing all manner of Mel Gibson related tidbits and the like. Topics of conversation include fairly detailed examinations of Lethal Weapon 4 and The Beaver, the palpable chemistry and friendship between Gibson and Foster (despite all logic to the contrary), the huge number of Western stars appearing in silent cameos, the romantic mystique of Riverboat Gambling, an excised Linda Hunt subplot, Rocky and Bullwinkle style satire, the greatness of Jack Lemmon, how much we miss Sean Connery and Gene Hackman, and a fair bit about the most effective comedy in the film, some pointed jokes involving Graham Greene. It’s more of a hangin’ out podcast than usual, but we had a great time recording it. Hope it plays for you!

We also spare a moment at the end to discuss Mel Gibson’s latest offering, the war film Hacksaw Ridge, and then a bit about the Seattle Seahawks, and how they’re doing. Next time, we’ll be talking about a Christmas Western, the John Wayne starring The Three Godfathers, which apparently is a Western version of the Bible story of the Three Kings visiting Christ in the manger. We’ll certainly see how that goes! You can email us at westernswithdad@gmail.com, and please remember to leave ratings and reviews on our iTunes page!

Maverick stars Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster and James Garner. It was directed by Richard Donner and written by William Goldman.