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
(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land
Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett
Played by the band outside the courthouse, including Stepin Fetchit on harmonica
Also played by the marching confederate veterans at the end See more »
Will Rogers stars in this backward glance at life in a small town of the deep South at the end of the 19th century, with its pleasures & joys, bigotries & suspicions.
Will is the local judge & champion of the social pariahs, not hesitant to stick his neck out to make a point or puncture a pompous ego. His unique brand of homespun humor is given ample scope to tickle our funny bone.
This is one of three films Will made with director John Ford, a remarkable collaboration. Others in the cast include Henry B. Walthal, Hattie McDaniel, Tom Brown, Anita Louise, Stepin Fetchit, Berton Churchill, Charley Grapewin & Rochelle Hudson.
There is some racial stereotyping in the film, not at all unusual for 1934 Hollywood.
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