Aboard the freighter Glencairn, the lives of the crew are lived out in fear, loneliness, suspicion and cameraderie. The men smuggle drink and women aboard, fight with each other, spy on ... See full summary »
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
"Based on Irvin S. Cobb's character of 'Judge Priest'" was a compromise onscreen source credit. Fox wanted to use "Based on the Judge Priest Stories by Irwin S. Cobb," but Mr. Cobb objected because he had written over 70 stories, was still writing them, and the statement might inhibit future sales of them. See more »
Wonderful film has Will Rogers playing the title role who has his own way of making justice prevail. Set in a small Kentucky town, the judge must battle a wide range of subjects but all of them seem to center around a mysterious man who is charged with assault. I wasn't too thrilled with the previous Rogers/Ford film that I watched but this one here hits all the right marks. Ford's love of Southern loyalty is certainly on full display from start to finish but he also paints a film that isn't really about anything yet it's about everything. Ford paints a terrific and authentic view of the South and even manages to work other items in like patriotic war battles and moving on in time. I think some of the best moments happen between Rogers and a black man named Jeff (Stepin Fetchit) who the judge saved from being hung. The two share several scenes together and their relationship comes off very sweet and human. The performances are all extremely good with Rogers leading the way as the soft spoken judge. Tom Brown and Anita Louise are also very good as Rogers' nephew and his girlfriend. The scene stealer comes from Henry B. Walthall who plays a Reverend with a secret past that comes out during the final courtroom scene. It's forgotten today that at one time Walthall was considered one of the greatest actors out there and his performance here is very thrilling and certainly grabs ones attention.
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