What God? Mister, you clearly don’t know where you are. This here’s the paradise of the locust, the lizard, the snake. It’s the land of the bleeding and the wrathful. It’s godless country. And the sooner you accept your inevitable demise, the longer you all are gonna live.”-Frank Griffin
I have been meaning to write a take about this show since I finished it a few weeks ago.
Godless is a Western set in the Town of La Belle in the New Mexico Territory and as you would know if you studied enough American History, you'd know that New Mexico did not become a state till the early 20th century, I had to look up the exact year myself, I thought it was 1911 but it was actually 1912 when it became a state.
Now I'm a fan of Westerns and I also love the actual history of the period which are really two different things so I was surprised to learn that the premise of the show has some historical basis.
The town of La Belle in the show is a town who has almost no men in it.
(There was actually a real town of La Belle New Mexico Territory but it was abandoned in 1910 which was the last time the mining town seemed to have miners as far as the records show. There is almost nothing else really known about it and the only remnant is a single building and it doesn't appear on most maps of ghost towns.)
The town has lost all but a handful of them in a mining accident so the only people who weren't in the mine were employed elsewhere, the sheriff, his deputy, a couple of older men, and shopkeepers, plus the sole survivor of the 84 men who were in the mine, of which 83 were killed. Now things like this actually happened in the old west and in the Actual New Mexico Territory too.
Now the premise of the show is that an outlaw named Roy Goode used to run in a Gang lead by a man named Frank Griffin, Roy Goode has had enough and tried to save the people of a town that had harbored him from Frank Griffin. However Frank Griffin kills the entire town regardless and in a confrontation Roy Goode Shoots Frank Griffin in the arm and it gets amputated and Roy Gets shot in the lower abdomen and its outside the town of La Belle that a Rancher and two time Widow takes him in. Now Frank Griffin is out for Revenge and hunting down Roy and has made it clear that any town that harbors him will be slaughtered to every man, woman, and child.
It all leads to a final showdown between the Roy Goode and the Citizens of La Belle Versus Frank Griffin and 30 men who follow him.
This is not a sugarcoated western. The Half Paiute son of the Rancher that takes in Roy faces prejudice, the neighboring town of blackdom founded by a bunch of Hard-as-Nails former Buffalo Soldiers has problems with La Belle. The show has more in common with Unforgiven or The Wild Bunch than it does with Rio Bravo or the original Magnificent Seven.
The show is absolutely brilliant. Its well written, well acted, and full of absolutely breathtaking scenary that you could expect from a proper western. The Show as actually filmed in New Mexico.
You should totally check it out.