Godless is an American Western drama streaming television miniseries created, written and directed by Scott Frank. In the series, set in 1884, a young outlaw on the run from his vengeful mentor winds up in a small New Mexico town populated almost entirely by women. The seven-episode series began production in Santa Fe, New Mexico in September 2016, and was released on Netflix globally on November 22, 2017. The series received positive reviews, and was named one of the year's 10 best by The Washington Post and Vanity Fair.
|Created by||Scott Frank|
|Written by||Scott Frank|
|Directed by||Scott Frank|
|Music by||Carlos Rafael Rivera|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||7|
|Production location||Santa Fe, New Mexico|
|Running time||41–80 minutes|
|Distributor||Netflix Streaming Services|
|Original release||November 22, 2017|
- Jack O'Connell as Roy Goode, an injured outlaw on the run from his former boss, Frank Griffin. He was orphaned at a young age and was taken in by Griffin. He ultimately breaks up a robbery and takes off with the loot, splitting from his father figure after he no longer can stomach Griffin's behavior.
- Michelle Dockery as Alice Fletcher, an independent and aloof widow managing a small ranch with her mother-in-law and adolescent son.
- Scoot McNairy as Bill McNue, the sheriff of La Belle and brother of Mary Agnes.
- Merritt Wever as Mary Agnes McNue, the determined, pragmatic and intrepid widow of the late mayor of La Belle, a town where almost all of the men have died in a mining accident, and sister of sheriff Bill McNue.
- Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Whitey Winn, the town deputy who is devoted to the town and the sheriff and afraid of no one.
- Tantoo Cardinal as Iyovi, Alice's Paiute mother-in-law.
- Kim Coates as Ed Logan, an arrogant and abrasive company man who comes into La Belle.
- Sam Waterston as Marshal John Cook, the law in Santa Fe who is on the hunt for Griffin.
- Jeff Daniels as Frank Griffin, a menacing outlaw who is terrorizing the West as he hunts down Roy, his son-like partner turned mortal enemy.
- Samuel Marty as Truckee, Alice's son.
- Tess Frazer as Callie Dunne, a former prostitute, current teacher and lover of Mary Agnes McNue.
- Samantha Soule as Charlotte Temple, a nervous and put-together woman always in her Sunday best.
- Audrey Moore as Sarah Doyle, a randy woman in her thirties dying for a man's company.
- Jeremy Bobb as A.T. Grigg, the editor of the Santa Fe Daily Review, who has been obsessed for years with writing about the Griffin Gang.
- Adam David Thompson as Gatz Brown, Griffin's righthand man.
- Russell Dennis Lewis as Daryl Devlin, murderous twin brother of Donnie in Griffin's gang of outlaws.
- Matthew Dennis Lewis as Donnie Devlin, murderous twin brother of Daryl in Griffin's gang of outlaws.
- Joe Pingue as Alonzo Bunker, a member of Griffin's gang of outlaws.
- Justin Welborn as Floyd Wilson, a skillful tracker in Griffin's gang of outlaws.
- Keith Jardine as Dyer Howe, a member of Griffin's gang of outlaws who is especially useful with knives.
- Christiane Seidel as Martha Bischoff, a mysterious German woman who raises some suspicion in La Belle.
- Nathan Darrow as Webster, a Pinkerton man searching for Martha.
- Kayli Carter as Sadie Rose, a widow of La Belle.
- Russell G. Jones as Hiram, one of the only surviving men of La Belle.
- Randy Oglesby as Asa Leopold, one of the only surviving men of La Belle who runs the dry goods store.
- Duane Howard as Shoshone Brave, a mysterious figure with a dog companion who is trailing Bill McNue.
- Jessica Sula as Louise Hobbs, Whitey's love interest and a skilled violinist.
- Erik LaRay Harvey as Elias Hobbs, Louise's father and a Civil War veteran.
- Rob Morgan as John Randall, a Civil War veteran.
- Julian Grey as William McNue, Bill's son.
- Marie Wagenman as Trudy McNue, Bill's daughter.
- Marceline Hugot as Lucy Cole, a nun who cares for Roy and his older brother when they were children.
The series was filmed in New Mexico, primarily on location, although the production was based at Santa Fe Studios. The town of La Belle, with a full 28 buildings, was constructed at the San Cristobal Ranch near Lamy. Other locations included Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico, a Paiute community in Abiquiú, New Mexico, Diablo Canyon near Los Alamos, New Mexico, El Rancho de las Golondrinas in Santa Fe, Cherry Meadow near Pecos, New Mexico, Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico and the Galisteo ranch; the latter, in the Galisteo Basin outside Santa Fe, also known as Cerro Pelon Ranch, was the location for the town of Creede, attacked by the Griffin gang. According to one source, the final shot of the series, set on the California coast in a fictionalized version of Atascadero, California, was filmed near Big Sur, California, but inland, not on the coast. Filming commenced in September 2016 and continued for five months.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||"An Incident at Creede"||Scott Frank||Scott Frank||November 22, 2017|
|In 1884, Marshal John Cook discovers a train wreck in Creede, Colorado and finds that all aboard have been killed. Cook believes this to be the work of Frank Griffin, a notorious outlaw, in response to his son-figure, Roy Goode, betraying him. Roy winds up at the ranch of Alice Fletcher outside La Belle, New Mexico. Alice shoots Roy, but nurses him back to health with the help of Iyovi, her Paiute mother-in-law, and Truckee, Alice's mixed-race son. Cook arrives in La Belle, a town of mostly women after nearly all the men were killed in a mining accident. He alerts Sheriff Bill McNue of the incident at Creede. Bill goes to Alice's ranch, where he meets Roy who explains the event; Roy stole the money Frank and his gang stole from the train, drew the gang away, then faced them down in a canyon where Roy shot off Frank's left arm. Roy surrenders to Bill who takes him into custody.|
|2||"The Ladies of La Belle"||Scott Frank||Scott Frank||November 22, 2017|
|The Quicksilver Mining Company, led by J.J. Valentine and accompanied by head of security Ed Logan, arrive in La Belle to discuss the future of the mine. Quicksilver proposes a deal to get La Belle back on its feet. While Mary Agnes McNue, Bill's sister and the widow of the town mayor, believes the deal to be suspicious, she is overruled and the town takes the deal. Frank confronts A.T. Grigg, a newspaper editor, and forces him to write an article enhancing Frank's image. Bill and Roy discuss finding Frank before he tracks Roy to La Belle. Bill goes off in search of Frank, leaving his deputy Whitey Winn in charge of Roy. However, Alice breaks Roy out. Alice strikes a deal with Roy, giving him food, a place to sleep, and teaching him to read in exchange for him breaking her horses. Bill hears a story from a cafe patron about a gang of 25 men (the size of Frank's gang). He schedules a meeting with Cook.|
|3||"Wisdom of the Horse"||Scott Frank||Scott Frank||November 22, 2017|
|At the canyon where Roy stood down Frank's gang, Bill meets a Native American, who observes Bill's deteriorating eyesight. Cook meets with Valentine, and urges Quicksilver to go to La Belle and protect them against Frank Griffin. At Alice's ranch, Whitey and a posse arrive asking for Roy back; however, they do not know it is really Roy Goode, as Bill told Whitey and others his name was "Mr. Ward". Alice agrees to sell her horses to the town if Roy can stay and break them. Bill comes across a family traumatized by an encounter with Frank and his gang; they urge Bill to find and kill Frank. Whitey goes to Blackdom, a small village near La Belle made up of Buffalo Soldiers, to take violin lessons from his friend Louise, in spite of the village and her father's animosity towards him. Mary Agnes shares a moment with Callie, her lover and the town teacher. Grigg publishes Frank's story, declaring that the gang is coming and will kill Roy and anyone who protects him. Logan arrives at La Belle with his security men and declares himself "the law" in Bill's absence. Cook arrives at his meeting place with Bill, but the Griffin Gang are already there, and they shoot and kill him.|
|4||"Fathers & Sons"||Scott Frank||Scott Frank||November 22, 2017|
|Bill arrives at the meeting place and finds Cook's body. Noting the local law's disinterest in helping, and seeing that a Griffin gang member stole Cook's badge, Bill becomes more motivated to find Frank. The Griffin Gang finds a house full of people dead and suffering from smallpox. Frank decides to stay and help the sick; he is unafraid to do so because he claims to know exactly how he will die. Roy goes hunting with Truckee and Iyovi, where he finds a box of mail in a crashed stage coach. Logan goes to Blackdom and tells the Buffalo Soldiers if they keep to themselves, Quicksilver will divert a river to the village. Grigg, believing Roy to be in La Belle, goes there, but the townsfolk (not knowing "Mr. Ward" is Roy) tell him he is being fooled. A flashback introduces Lucy Cole, a nun who cared for Roy and his older brother Jim as children. Whitey is told by Louise's father to stay away. Seeing him beat Louise, Whitey nearly shoots him but is interrupted by Roy; Whitey talks to Roy and realizes Roy is a good man. Bill encounters the Griffin gang. After initially trying to fool them, Bill admits he is the law. Frank is indifferent and they leave.|
|5||"Shot the Head off a Snake"||Scott Frank||Scott Frank||November 22, 2017|
|Flashbacks show Roy's relationship with Frank and Frank's focus on the gang being family, as well as Roy meeting Frank after leaving Lucy. In the present, Grigg speaks with Charlotte, a calm, religious La Belle resident. Grigg learns of the man at the Fletcher ranch, whom he hypothesizes is Roy. Mary Agnes sees Callie with another woman, leading to an argument in the street; she and Whitey share in their heartbreak. Alice has been teaching Roy to read; their bond grows as he reads a love letter from the mail he found. Roy says he has become his own father and no longer needed Frank as a surrogate. Frank and the gang come upon the last known location of Lucy to find she is gone, but they learn she bought a nearby saloon. Grigg sees "Mr. Ward" and knows him to be Roy. He rides off to report his sighting.|
|6||"Dear Roy..."||Scott Frank||Scott Frank||November 22, 2017|
|Grigg prepares a special edition of his paper which will report Roy being in La Belle. Instead of warning the people, Grigg wants a shootout so he has a story to report. Mary Agnes reunites with Callie. Roy prepares to leave the ranch, and finally reads the letter from his brother Jim (which he carried with him years ago), which says he is living happily in California. Truckee learns Roy plans to leave and becomes furious, lashing out at him, making Roy emotional. Alice approaches Roy, showing him her scars, and they have sex. The next morning, Roy rides off, but leaves the letter for Alice to read, which she does. Frank reads Grigg's article, and rides off to La Belle.|
|7||"Homecoming"||Scott Frank||Scott Frank||November 22, 2017|
|Callie, Mary Agnes, and a few other women read Grigg's paper. The women go to Alice's ranch to retrieve Roy, but he has already left. Mary Agnes suggests hiding in the hills, but Logan and his men have stolen the horses and fled. Roy and Bill both stumble upon them; they incapacitate the men, take the horses, and ride to La Belle. Frank and his men go to Blackdom, where he warns them to stay out of the fight; however, the people recognize Frank. A shootout ensues that kills nearly all of Blackdom, except Louise, who is saved by Whitey. The women of La Belle arm themselves for a stand inside the hotel. Alice rides out looking for Truckee, but upon seeing the Griffin Gang, goes to La Belle and joins the fight. As the gang arrives, Whitey goes out to confront them, but is killed by a throwing knife. A large shootout ensues. Midway through, Roy and Bill arrive and join the fight. Many citizens of La Belle and all of the Griffin Gang are killed, but Frank flees. Roy gives pursuit, confronts Frank and kills him in a duel. The survivors hold a funeral for the fallen, during which the town's long-awaited preacher finally arrives and gives a eulogy for Whitey. Roy says goodbye to Alice and Truckee, and rides to California, leaving behind a large satchel of money for Alice. He arrives at the coast and stares out at the Pacific Ocean.|
The series received positive reviews. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave it an 85% "fresh" rating and average rating of 7.94 out of 10, based on 78 reviews, with critics consensus, "Vistas and violence root Godless firmly in traditional Western territory, but its female-driven ensemble sets it apart in a male-dominated genre." On Metacritic, it has a score of 75 out of 100, based on 25 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Alan Sepinwall from Uproxx reviewed it positively, saying, "Godless doesn’t quite find that happy middle, but the storytelling excesses created by this format make it more fun than the traditional movie version probably would have been."
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2017||Best Limited Series||Godless||Nominated|
|Best Actor in a Movie/Limited Series||Jeff Daniels||Nominated|
|2017||Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series||Scott Frank||Nominated|
|2018||Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series||Godless||Nominated|
|2018||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series||Jeff Daniels||Nominated|
|2018||Outstanding Writing for a Long Form – Original||Scott Frank||Nominated|
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Godless features the largest Western film set ever built in New Mexico.
- Roe, Josiah (December 11, 2017). "Enchantment in Santa Fe County at the Godless' Filming Locations". The Outbound. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
Godless features the largest Western film set ever built in New Mexico.
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