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 »
Dr. John Pearly is an affable, turn-of-the-century con man who sells a patent medicine whose primary ingredient is whiskey. He resurrects a broken down steamboat with a makeshift crew and challenges the respectable but arrogant Captain Eli to a winner-take-all river race. Pearly hopes his nephew Duke will serve as pilot, but the young man stands accused of murdering a 'swamp rat' who threatened the honor of 'swamp girl' Fleety Belle. After Duke is arrested, Pearly tries to raise money for a lawyer by charging admission to a wax museum aboard his ship. Ultimately he gambles it all in the river race to Baton Rouge, where he hopes to find a witness whose testimony will free Duke. Written by
As the nephew of Dr. John Pearly (Will Rogers), should join his uncle to navigate on the Mississippi in an old steamer, is arrested for the murder of a man who prevented him from leaving with "Fleety Belle" (Anne Shirley), with which he intended to marry. The young man is sentenced to hanging. The doctor will try everything to save his nephew.
The film is a little comedy of Ford and the latest collaboration with actor Will Rogers, who despite being the less solid film of the three still retaining many of the virtues of the other two films they made together. Ford himself was aware that history was not great quality, so much so that Ford talked to Rogers and asked him to adapt the character a bit to find more comfortable with it. Eventually the two were reasonably satisfied with the final, but we must recognize that history had less interest than before and it makes the film will suffer a bit. Not without some interesting topics and will return to more success in his work and social intolerance, personal integrity, or deprivation of liberty "Judge Priest ", and "Doctor Bull". Rogers returns to be splendid in his character, although perhaps best remembered as the charismatic character of the "New Moses" performed by Berton Churchill, who work in several films of Ford at that time.
The master Ford finds this funny trilogy one notch below, but decent with this little comedy with his two predecessors, as well as entertain are very useful to begin to understand the style so characteristic of this great genius of cinema.
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