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 »
Shiftless Jeeter Lester and his family of hillbilly stereotypes live in a rural backwater where their ancestors were once wealthy planters. Their slapstick existence is threatened by a ... See full summary »
"Docudrama" about the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 and its results, the recovering of the ships, the improving of defense in Hawaii and the US efforts to beat back the ... See full summary »
When the government agency fails to deliver even the meager supplies due by treaty to the proud Cheyenne tribe in their barren desert reserve, the starving Indians have taken more abuse ... See full summary »
The US Army is under pressure from the desperate relatives of white prisoners of the Comanches to secure their rescue. A cynical and corrupt marshal, Guthrie McCabe, is persuaded by an army... See full summary »
A Union Cavalry outfit is sent behind confederate lines in strength to destroy a rail/supply centre. Along with them is sent a doctor who causes instant antipathy between him and the ... See full summary »
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 Priest is involved variously in revealing the real identity of Lucy Lake, reliving his Civil War memories, preventing the lynching of a youth and contesting the elections with Yankee Horace K. Maydew. Written by
Bernard Keane <BKeane2@email.dot.gov.au>
Liberal, Dixie judge takes a principled stand against small town hypocrisy in turn of the century Kentucky
One of the odd aspects of this film is the post Civil War background that looms large to a greater or lesser degree throughout. This takes the form of a blatantly obvious pro Confederate stance, and an almost religious idolatry of 'Dixie'. Halliwell tells us that Judge Priest, the moral heart of the film, "has trouble quelling the Confederate spirit" - but the opposite is the case - the judge is absolutely central to maintaining and celebrating that spirit. The oddness comes because, it seems to me at least, we are not used to seeing such a character defending black rights, preventing a lynching, etc. Even more peculiar is to see such a 'happy' black population - particularly the quite disturbing courthouse scene where 2 black characters suddenly burst into a grotesque song and dance routine. "Mississippi Burning" this certainly isn't! But certainly a film worth watching, and the prostitute's daughter's funeral scene is excellently done. It somehow feels older than 1953.
7 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?