Judge Roy Bean
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Quotes for
Judge Roy Bean (Character)
from The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)

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The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)
Rev. Mr. LaSalle: What has happened here?
Judge Roy Bean: These men tried to hang me. They have been killed for it.
Rev. Mr. LaSalle: How many of 'em are there?
Judge Roy Bean: A lot of 'em.
Rev. Mr. LaSalle: Who did the killing?
Judge Roy Bean: I did. They were bad men, and the whores weren't ladies.
Rev. Mr. LaSalle: Vengeance is mine sayeth, the Lord!
Judge Roy Bean: It was. I'm waiting for the buzzards. They don't deserve burying.
Rev. Mr. LaSalle: Maybe they don't, but they ought to be. They are a stench and an abomination! I got a shovel if you don't.

Rev. Mr. LaSalle: I will read over the dead now. My Bible, please. Mister, uh...
Judge Roy Bean: Bean.
Rev. Mr. LaSalle: Bean?
Judge Roy Bean: Roy Bean. Judge Roy Bean. I am the law in this area.
Rev. Mr. LaSalle: What has qualified you as such?
Judge Roy Bean: I know the law. And I have spent my entire life in its flagrant disregard. But I had never killed a man before. Oh, I had shot at some... in self-defense or blind fright, but I never hit anyone. So God must have directed my bullets. Why, he even sent an angel to deliver this weapon
Judge Roy Bean: .
Rev. Mr. LaSalle: Just how do you intend to dispense this law?
Judge Roy Bean: With this
Judge Roy Bean: and a rope.
Rev. Mr. LaSalle: And will you rely again on the grace of God?
Judge Roy Bean: Well, I intend to
Judge Roy Bean: practice and give Him some help. Get on with the reading.

[Bean has just shot a man for shooting a picture of Lily Langtry]
Judge Roy Bean: Justifiable homicide.
[Goes through the man's pockets]
Judge Roy Bean: I fine this man, uh, $50 for disturbing the peace and $10 for lying around.

Judge Roy Bean: The last time that bear ate a lawyer, he had the runs for thirty-three days.

Judge Roy Bean: Ordinarily, I'd take you in my court and try you and hang you. But if you've got money for whiskey, I guess we can dispense with those proceedings.

Judge Roy Bean: Do you have anything to say before we find you guilty?
Sam Dodd: I'm not guilty of nothing. There's no crime that I've done wrong.
Judge Roy Bean: Do you deny the killing?
Sam Dodd: I do not deny it. But there's no place in that book where it says nothing about killing a Chinese. And no one I know ever heard a law on greasers, niggers, or injuns.
Judge Roy Bean: All men stand equal before the law. And I will hang a man for killing anyone, including Chinks, greasers, or niggers! I'm very advanced in my views and outspoken.
Sam Dodd: There's no place in that book that...
Judge Roy Bean: Trust in my judgment of the book. Besides, you're gonna hang no matter what it says in there, 'cause I am the law, and the law is the handmaiden of justice. Get a rope.

Fermel Parlee (Jackson gang: [after Bean shoots Bad Bob in the back] You call that sportin'? It weren't a real standup fight.
Judge Roy Bean: Standup? I laid down to steady my aim.
Fermel Parlee (Jackson gang: Well, I mean he never had a chance.
Judge Roy Bean: Not at all. Never did, never would have. I didn't ask him to come here. I don't abide giving killers a chance. He wants a chance, let him go someplace else.

Whorehouse Lucky Jim (Jackson gang: You call that justice?
Judge Roy Bean: Justice is the handmaiden of law.
Nick the Grub (Jackson gang: You said law was the handmaiden of justice.
Judge Roy Bean: Works both ways.

Judge Roy Bean: [Bean apologizes to the marshals' wives] I understand you have taken exception to my calling you whores. I'm sorry. I apologize. I ask you to note that I did not call you callous-ass strumpets, fornicatresses, or low-born gutter sluts. But I did say "whores." No escaping that. And for that slip of the tongue, I apologize.

Someone in crowd: Who are you?
Judge Roy Bean: Justice, you sons of bitches!

Judge Roy Bean: [upon reading an item in the New York Times] I am... disturbed by the news this morning.
Tector Crites (Jackson gang: What is it, Judge?
Judge Roy Bean: I am crestfallen...
Tector Crites (Jackson gang: Crestfallen?
Judge Roy Bean: Crestfallen by the... report that Miss Lily, in a playful mood at a royal outing, slipped a frog down the back of His Highness, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales. It was a moment of frivolity, you understand.
Tector Crites (Jackson gang: She slipped a frog down this prince's neck?
Judge Roy Bean: Anyway, the Prince was ruffled by the incident... and disfavored Miss Lily for it.
Tector Crites (Jackson gang: I suppose he would.
Judge Roy Bean: "Suppose he would"? I ought to go over there and hang the son of a bitch! I would, too, except I got too much respect for the royal family.

Judge Roy Bean: [Sees a man digging a hole in the earth, just outside of town] What's your name, mister?
Grizzly Adams: I'm Grizzly Adams, direct descendant of John Quincy Adams... sixth president of the United States. His blood is in me. But I went wild as a youth, and run away to the mountains. Good life, free life - but COLD. So cold I'd go to the bears in the winter and lie up with them in their cave. That's why I'm known as "Grizzly" - I cohabitated with the bears.
Judge Roy Bean: What are you doing in Vinegarroon?
Grizzly Adams: All my life I been cold. I come south to die where it's warm.
Judge Roy Bean: Well, it's warm here... but there'll be no *illegal* dying! The only people that die in my town are those that I shoot or hang. Now, get along with ya'.
Grizzly Adams: Can't die here, can't die there! Man can't even DIE where he sees fit no more. I want no part of what this world's come to and I'm GLAD my days are at an end!

Judge Roy Bean: [talking to Maria Elena] Maybe you can explain to these people here that I mean them no harm. Tell 'em it's going to be a new place. It's going to be a nice place to live. I'm the new judge. There will be law. There is going to be order, progress, civilization, peace... Above all, peace. And I don't care who I have to kill to get it. Now go on, you tell 'em that.

Rev. Mr. LaSalle: I shall pray for you, Bean. This land abounds in ruffians and varmints. Their numbers are legion, their evil skills commensurate.
Judge Roy Bean: Piss on 'em.

Judge Roy Bean: [to Sam Dodd, whom the marshals have brought to Bean's court to be tried for murder] Get down off that horse! I don't cotton looking up to the likes of you.

Judge Roy Bean: It's all changing. The country's changing. The railroad's coming. People will pass by... and look out the window and never know what it took to make all this. They won't know about the bear. They won't know about me... I guess it doesn't matter.
Maria Elena: I'm going to have your baby in the spring.
Judge Roy Bean: A son... Make it a son. I need a son. King Louis XIV, King of France, had 103 of them. A man can't live forever. A man is mortal.

Judge Roy Bean: There are several reasons advanced for the fall of Rome: the decline of the military, increase in the savage hordes. But I got my own opinion. I think it was those Roman baths. Roman generals didn't even bother to fight their own wars no more. Swam around in scented oils, lollygagging with the slaves, stuffing themselves with larks' tongues.

Judge Roy Bean: [Contemptuously addressing the drunken doctor] Hanging is the outlaw's path to glory... and much too good for the likes of you.

Judge Roy Bean: [Last lines: Judge Roy Bean's last letter to Lily Langtry, voiceover] My dearest Lily: I take pen in hand to write to you for this very last time. I wish to tell you that although I've never seen you, or heard the sound of your voice, I have carried you with me in my heart always. Your presence on this earth has given me strength and dignity becoming to a gentleman. Helped me to drive away the cold of my long and lonely night. I wish to say lastly, it has been an honor to adore you. God willing, sometime in this life or afterwards, I may yet stand in your light and declare myself, forever and ever, your ardent admirer and champion... Judge Roy Bean.

Whorehouse Patron: [First lines]
[Roy Bean enters]
Whorehouse Patron: Door. Shut the door, squirrel.
Judge Roy Bean: [Shuts the door and walks up to the bar] Whiskey.

Judge Roy Bean: [Reading a book title] "Crimes, Laws and Statutes in the State of Texas." What's that doin' here?
Whorehouse Patron: For the whores to piss on.

Judge Roy Bean: Bean. Roy Bean.

Judge Roy Bean: Does she speak American?

Judge Roy Bean: Well, that brothel there, will be my courthouse. A place to deal out justice.

Judge Roy Bean: You outlaws?
Bart Jackson: We're honest men. Merely been driven to a life beyond the law by circumstance.

Judge Roy Bean: Have you ever been here before?
Bart Jackson: Nope. I don't even know where I am now.
Judge Roy Bean: Well, it's the eagle's nest. Vinegarroon County, Texas.
Bart Jackson: Vinegarroon? What is a Vinegarroon?
Judge Roy Bean: Well, it's a Mexican word. It means whiptail scorpion - mean as hell.

Judge Roy Bean: Got any money?
Bart Jackson: Not much. We tried to rob Three Rivers Flyer. Couldn't catch it. The passengers shot at us from the windows for sport! Not easy bein' an outlaw in times like these.

Judge Roy Bean: By the power vested in me through God and the great and honorable State of Texas, I hereby proclaim you to be Marshals of the court of the county of greater Vinegarroon. For Texas and Miss Lily!
Bart Jackson, Nick the Grub (Jackson gang, Whorehouse Lucky Jim (Jackson gang, Tector Crites (Jackson gang, Fermel Parlee (Jackson gang: For Texas and Miss Lily!

Sam Dodd: [about to be hung] Don't I get to say nuthin'?
Judge Roy Bean: By all means.
Sam Dodd: I want to say that I still believe this whole thing's a mistake and that I am no worse and probably better than the men that are about to end my days.
Judge Roy Bean: Well spoken, son.

Judge Roy Bean: All of this has come to past because it is the duty of the righteous, which is us, to hang the wicked whenever we can. So, that a man can say truly that *God* has appointed a judge upon the earth. That is how it is - and the way it will be. Amen.
Nick the Grub (Jackson gang, Whorehouse Lucky Jim (Jackson gang, Fermel Parlee (Jackson gang, Tector Crites (Jackson gang, Bart Jackson, Maria Elena: Amen.
Judge Roy Bean: Bar is open!

Judge Roy Bean: Where did you get that dress?
Maria Elena: You sent for it.
Judge Roy Bean: Well, it sure didn't look like that in the Sears and Roebuck catalog.
Maria Elena: Don't you like it?
Judge Roy Bean: With all due respect to Miss Lily, I think she'd understand - yeah, I like it a lot. Just don't go wearin' it around here during drinkin' hours.

Whorehouse Lucky Jim (Jackson gang: Judge! Judge! Judge! Judge, better come quick! There's gonna be an illegal lynchin'!
Judge Roy Bean: Hold it! Hold it! The only lynchin' around here will be done accordin' to the law.
Fermel Parlee (Jackson gang: Oh, hell, Judge! We got the tar and we got the feathers.

Pimp: I would like to make amends.
Judge Roy Bean: Amends? What you have done to these - gentle damsels. I accuse you, sir, of leadin' 'em down the Primrose Path - makin' 'em *slaves* to a passion in the dollar.
Pimp: Five dollars.
Black Haired Whore: Three!
Brunette Whore: Two fifty.
Red Head Whore: For you, Judge - nothin'.
Judge Roy Bean: Get those ladies down from that travelin' bordello and put 'em on the porch.

Judge Roy Bean: I ain't gonna sentence you, boy. But, I am gonna warn ya. If you ain't out of town here in five minutes, I'm gonna open court in earnest.
Pimp: I haven't even got a horse.
Judge Roy Bean: Steal one! A fast one! Remember, we hang horse thieves around here!

Judge Roy Bean: It's cold, in that shack, where you live, ain't it?
Maria Elena: Its alright in the Summer.
Judge Roy Bean: Yeah, but, it's cold in the winter and it leaks in the rain, don't it?
Maria Elena: Sometimes.
Judge Roy Bean: And the wind comes through.
Maria Elena: Only when its blowing.
Judge Roy Bean: Yeah, well, it is Summer and the sky is clear, there's no wind; so, I think you ought to spend the night with me in the courthouse so I can protect you from the elements.

Judge Roy Bean: The ancient Greeks worshipped the feet of Aphrodite. They loved mortal women, as well. The same goes for me.

Judge Roy Bean: Man has two loves: an unattainable goddess and mortal woman. And he loves the mortal woman twice as much. having worshipped Lily Langtry.

Maria Elena: Shame on you Judge! Quarreling with a bear!
Judge Roy Bean: Did you see what he did to Miss Lily? He defiled her. He licked her dear face. Breathed on her with his beer-fouled breath. Oh!

Judge Roy Bean: That bear's drunker than I am.

Judge Roy Bean: There is a reward - for the righteous, courageous and the loyal. And that reward includes beer.

Judge Roy Bean: I know who put those ideas in your heads. Well, they don't deserve any opinions. I'll do the thinkin' around here. And you can tell *that* to your whores - and your wives.

Maria Elena: You should go and see her - before she grows old and fat.
Judge Roy Bean: Miss Lily's beauty is timeless.

Nick the Grub (Jackson gang: Damn, Judge! You shot him in the back!
Whorehouse Lucky Jim (Jackson gang: Appears like he shot him in the back and the front! Judge, you didn't give him no chance!
Judge Roy Bean: He'd didn't deserve a chance. If he wanted a chance; he should have gone somewhere else.

The Westerner (1940)
Judge Roy W. Bean: Don't spill none of that liquor, son. It eats right into the bar.

Judge Roy W. Bean: Shad Wilkins, you've been tried and found guilty of the most serious crime west of the Pecos, to wit: shooting a steer. Do you got anything to say for yourself before the sentence of the court is executed?
Shad Wilkins: I told you they shot at me first. I didn't mean to kill that steer on purpose. I was aiming at the man.
Judge Roy W. Bean: It's your bad luck you missed him. That's the trouble with you sodbusters... you can't shoot straight. Shad, may the Lord have mercy on your soul.

Judge Roy W. Bean: I haven't worn this uniform since Chickamaugie, but it still fits right smart.

Judge Roy W. Bean: Mr. Harden, it's my duty to inform you that the larceny of an equine is a capital offense punishable by death, but you can rest assured that in this court, a horse thief always gets a fair trial before he's hung.

The Stranger: Have you met Miss Langtry?
Judge Roy W. Bean: No, I never met her. I never met the sun, I never shook hands with the moon, and I've never been introduced to no clouds.

Judge Roy W. Bean: Are you an attorney, Miss?
Jane Ellen Mathews: I'm as much an attorney as you are a judge!

Wade Harper: We're goin' back to build our fences.
Judge Roy W. Bean: If you do, you better build coffins with them. Now git!

Cole Harden: You get warrants in Fort Davis, don't you?
Judge Roy W. Bean: Yes, that's where they get 'em, but they don't know how to spell my name. It's been tried before.
Cole Harden: I'll get one. This time you'll get what's comin' to you, Judge.

[repeated line]
Judge Roy W. Bean: By gobs!

Cole Harden: Don't make a move, Judge. I'm comin down to get ya.
Judge Roy W. Bean: Come a-shootin.

"Death Valley Days: A Sense of Justice (#15.5)" (1966)
Josh Bean: Well, for a young fellow who will work and stay out of trouble, there are plenty of opportunities here - good businesses to go into.
Roy Bean: Well, there's a business I'd like to go into.
[points to a saloon]
Roy Bean: A saloon always makes money. When people are happy, they drink to celebrate and when they're unhappy, they drink to forget.

[discussing Collins]
Josh Bean: Roy, listen to me. He's been courting Gloria Chavez and he's the toughest man in town.
Josh Bean: Well, now she's being courted by the two toughest men in town.
Roy Bean: Women always were nothing but trouble for you, aren't they? Look, I don't want...
Josh Bean: Josh, you know I don't run away from trouble.
Roy Bean: Oh no, you can't run away from it - because you carry it around with you!

Collins: Two bits worth of whiskey. He's buyin'.
Roy Bean: Unh-uh. Not me.
Collins: You owe me two bits and I aim to collect.
Roy Bean: You keep pushin' and you're going to collect two bits worth of lead.

[last lines]
[Collins cocks his pistol after catching Roy breaking out of jail]
Collins: This is the last we're going to see of you. Now get on that horse and get out of town and don't you ever come back!
Roy Bean: You mean you're not going to turn me in or nothin'?
Collins: No, I just want to get you far away from Gloria.
Roy Bean: Aw, you could have saved yourself a lot of trouble. They were going to put me away for ten years for pluggin' you.
Collins: Well, it was a fair fight. You got in a lucky shot, but you beat me. Ain't no justice in your going to jail for it, law or no law. Besides, with your luck, they'da let you go and you'd still be in my hair!
Roy Bean: Collins, you and me, we got a real sense of justice.
Collins: Aw now, git.

The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991) (TV)
Burgundy Jones: You know Judge, we have no greater friend in this world than Ethan Cassidy.
Judge Roy Bean: Then you can walk right out to my gallows and say goodbye to your friend. Now, let's get back to the races.