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 »
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 »
Simple mastery, masterful simplicity: a great work
John Ford adopts and works within the conventions of this homespun genre. As he did with the genre of every film he made. Yes, racial stereotyping -- but Ford knew it was, and let you see it for what it was. Yes, sentimental and corny, but knowing and loving that way, presenting it for what you the viewer want to make of it.
After seventy years, still so funny, so affectionate, so insightful. And topical for 2003: is there any better depiction of populist politics, or expression of faith in the democratic mystery of the common man?
The art that conceals art. Try to see it on a film-projected screen. I'm off to look at THE SUN SHINES BR
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