3 Godfathers is certainly not one of John Ford's best films, but it could be argued it is one of his most spiritual. The film describes the story of three outlaws on the run after robbing a bank, and in the process run into a dying woman giving birth. As they are attempting to help her and her new born child, all three of them accept being the child godfather and protectors.
The story is rather silly and unbelievable, primarily because the three outlaws don't really come across as being real criminals. Yet, the viewer is led to believe these men are quite prepared to kill if they have to in either robbing a bank or running away from the law. In my opinion, this is a major flaw in the film, since there seems to be a major contradiction between who these men are supposed to be and what we see them as. During the whole film, it is virtually impossible to see John Wayne as anything but a righteous hero, yet he is supposed to be the leader of this outlaw gang. His two henchmen, played by Pedro Armendáriz and Harry Carey Jr., seem very amiable and kind, and in the case of Harry Carey Jr., his character is almost darn right religious.
Regardless of this problem, the film tries to portray how these outlaws are redeemed by the fact that they agree to save the life of the new born baby, risking their lives in doing so, and in the case of the Pedro Armendáriz and Harry Carey Jr. characters, end up sacrificing their lives. Given that this is all taking place on Christmas Eve, the film correlates these 3 godfathers to the three wise men in the New Testament bible giving homage to the baby Jesus.
Fans of John Wayne won't be disappointed in this film, since his persona and charisma are the best part of the film and make it worth viewing. A good example of how the star power of a film legend like John Wayne can keep a movie fresh and interesting no matter how weak the story or plot may be.