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Judge Priest (1934)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 28 September 1934 (USA)
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 »

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Complete credited cast:
Jerome Priest
Ellie May Gillespie
Rev. Ashby Brand
David Landau ...
Bob Gillis
Virginia Maydew
Roger Imhof ...
Flem Talley
Sergeant Jimmy Bagby
Senator Horace Maydew
Brenda Fowler ...
Mrs. Caroline Priest
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 <marsattack@earthling.net>

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?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


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


Featured in Bamboozled (2000) See more »


(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land
(1860) (uncredited)
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
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User Reviews

Very good Ford
25 February 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Judge Priest (1934)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

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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