Cole Harden just doesn't look like a horse thief, Jane-Ellen Matthews tells Judge Roy Bean as she steps up to the bar. Cole says he can't take it with him as he empties all of his coins on the bar to buy drinks for the jury. He notices two big pictures of Lily Langtry behind the bar. Sure, Cole has met the Jersey Lily, whom the hanging judge adores, even has a lock of her hair. Hanging is delayed for two weeks, giving Cole time to get in the middle of a range war between cattlemen and homesteaders and to still be around when Lily Langtry, former mistress of Edward VII who became an international actress, arrives in Texas. Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
Opening credits: "After the Civil War, America, in the throes of rebirth, set its face West where the land was free. First came the cattlemen and with them "Judge" Roy Bean, who took the law into his own hands, administering justice according to his lights. That he left his impress on the history of Texas is tribute to his greatness. Then into his stronghold moved another army, the homesteaders, who ploughed the soil, fenced in fields, to bring security to their wives and children. War was inevitable, a war out of which grew the Texas of today." See more »
This movie contains what has to be one of the great performances by Walter Brennan as Judge Roy Bean. Indeed, the title of this movie should have been "The Story of Judge Roy Bean" starring Walter Brennan. For it is obvious that this movie was a vehicle for Walter Brennan, not for Gary Cooper, who actually was cast in a supporting role in this movie. It is obvious that someone in the studio saw potential in Walter Brennan to star in a major motion picture in which Brennan, who was normally cast in supporting roles, carries the movie. What makes the movie even better is that it is based on a person who actually lived, which made the role even more challenging. Walter Brennan carries this movie and transforms what would have otherwise been just another western into a classic.
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