Down 1,762 this week

Judge Priest (1934)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  28 September 1934 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,287 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 10 critic

Judge Priest, a proud Confederate veteran, uses common sense and considerable humanity to dispense justice in a small town in the Post-Bellum Kentucky.



(based on: character of "Judge Priest"), (screen play), 1 more credit »
0Check in

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive


Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns a classy 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

Related News

Viennale 2014. Cinema's Torch

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 24 Oct 2010
a list of 26 titles
created 10 Mar 2013
a list of 22 titles
created 24 Jul 2013
a list of 36 titles
created 29 Nov 2013
a list of 31 titles
created 26 Jan 2014

Related Items

Search for "Judge Priest" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Judge Priest (1934)

Judge Priest (1934) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Judge Priest.

User Polls



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Louisiana con man enters his steamboat into a winner-take-all race with a rival while trying to find a witness to free his nephew, about to be hung for murder.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Will Rogers, Anne Shirley, Irvin S. Cobb
Doctor Bull (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Doc Bull, a no-nonsense country doctor who has served his community for decades, fights small-town prejudice and provincialism in several crises.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Will Rogers, Marian Nixon, Vera Allen
Comedy | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

John Ford weaves three "Judge Priest" stories together to form a good- natured exploration of honour and small-town politics in the South around the turn of the century. Judge William ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: Charles Winninger, Arleen Whelan, John Russell
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was imprisoned after innocently treating President Lincoln's assassin in 1865.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Warner Baxter, Gloria Stuart, Claude Gillingwater
Certificate: Passed Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A dozen British soldiers, lost in a Mesopotamian desert during world war I, are menaced by unseen Arab enemies.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Boris Karloff, Wallace Ford
Tobacco Road (1941)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Shiftless Jeeter Lester and his family of hillbilly stereotypes live in a rural backwater where their ancestors were once wealthy planters. Their slapstick existence is threatened by a ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: Charley Grapewin, Gene Tierney, Marjorie Rambeau
Arrowsmith (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Based on Sinclair Lewis's novel "Arrowsmith". A medical researcher is sent to a plague outbreak, where he has to decide priorities for the use of a vaccine.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Ronald Colman, Helen Hayes, Richard Bennett
The Informer (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1922, an Irish rebel informs on his friend, then feels doom closing in.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel, Preston Foster
Pilgrimage (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: John Ford
Stars: Henrietta Crosman, Heather Angel, Norman Foster
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Springfield, Illinois. Brandon, a surveyor, dreams of building a railway to the west, but Marsh, a contractor, is sceptical. Abraham Lincoln looks on as their children, Davy Brandon and ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: George O'Brien, Madge Bellamy, Charles Edward Bull
The Fugitive (1947)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Anti--Catholic and anti-cleric policies in the Mexican state of Tabasco lead the revolutionary government to persecute the state's last remaining priest.

Directors: John Ford, Emilio Fernández
Stars: Henry Fonda, Dolores del Rio, Pedro Armendáriz
Up the River (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When paroled trustee Steve and former inmate Judy who try to put their criminal lives behind them are blackmailed, two career criminals come to their rescue.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Claire Luce, Warren Hymer


Complete credited cast:
Jerome Priest
Ellie May Gillespie
Henry B. Walthall ...
Rev. Ashby Brand
David Landau ...
Bob Gillis
Virginia Maydew
Roger Imhof ...
Frank Melton ...
Flem Talley
Sergeant Jimmy Bagby
Senator Horace Maydew
Brenda Fowler ...
Mrs. Caroline Priest
Francis Ford ...
Juror No. 12
Aunt Dilsey (as Hattie McDaniels)
Stepin Fetchit ...


Judge William "Billy" Priest lives in a very patriotic (Confederate) southern town. Priest plays a laid-back, widowed judge who helps uphold the law in his toughest court case yet. In the meantime, he plays matchmaker for his young nephew. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mellow as a mint julep and twice as refreshing. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 September 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El juez  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Some characters were created exclusively for the film including Ellie May Gillespie, Jerome Priest, and Virginia Maydew. See more »


[first lines]
Judge William 'Billy' Priest: Hear! Hear! Hear! Court's called to order!
See more »


Featured in Bamboozled (2000) See more »


Aunt Dilsey's Song
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Cyril J. Mockridge
Lyrics by Dudley Nichols and Lamar Trotti
Sung a cappella by Hattie McDaniel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Excellent subtle '30's John Ford comedy.
29 March 2008 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

'30's comedies aren't exactly known for their subtlety and they mostly consist out of physical humor. This movie forms a great and wonderful exception to this.

This is one great subtle comedy that is mostly funny thanks to its very amusing and extreme stereotyped characters. It of course also really helps that they are being portrayed by some really great actors and are being directed by one great director; John Ford.

Will Rogers was totally great in his role. He seemed very natural with his acting but at the same time managed to play his character in a comical way. He was a greatly talented comedy actor, who was already a popular one during the silent era. He would had continued to play many more comical roles I'm sure, had he not died one year after this movie, in a plane crash piloted by the one-eyed pioneer aviator Wiley Post. Hattie McDaniel also does in this movie what she is best known for, playing a likable maid role. She is best known for her Acedemy Award winning role in "Gone with the Wind", which also made her the first black actor winning the great award.

Even though John Ford began directing movies as early as 1917, it wasn't until the '30's that his career really took off and he gained a real big celebrity status. He also isn't best known for comedies but mostly for his western's, often starring John Wayne. Till this date he is still the director with the most Academy Awards for best directing (4 of them). I think that says already enough about the qualities of this man. With this movie he also really seemed ahead of its time, by picking an all different and very humble approach of the story and comedy.

The story is actually quite simple but oh so great. It actually is quite well layered, even though the movie its simplicity might make you overlook this. It features lots of different element involving the characters in this movie, on both the comical as well as the more dramatic level. I also especially really like how the judge tries to hook up his cousin with his neighbor girl.

The movie also truly benefits from its typical southern atmosphere. The movie is set in a southern town, which shows in the movie its characters, their accents and just overall atmosphere of the entire movie.

This movie was a great pleasant surprise!


12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
the objectionable confederacy NewtonFigg
Discuss Judge Priest (1934) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: