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The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)

A no account outlaw establishes his own particular brand of law and order and builds a town on the edges of civilization in this farcical western. With the aid of an old law text and ... See full summary »



(original screenplay)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fred Brookfield ...
Bennie E. Dobbins ...
Outlaw (as Ben Dobbins)
Outlaw (as Dick Farnsworth)
Leroy Johnson ...
Outlaw (as LeRoy Johnson)
Fred Krone ...
Terry Leonard ...
Margo Epper ...
Jeannie Epper ...
Stephanie Epper ...
Maria Elena
Barbara J. Longo ...
Fat Lady


A no account outlaw establishes his own particular brand of law and order and builds a town on the edges of civilization in this farcical western. With the aid of an old law text and unpredictable notions Roy Bean distinguishes between lawbreakers and lawgivers by way of his pistols. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

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Plot Keywords:

law | saloon | outlaw | texas | judge | See All (132) »


Maybe This Isn't The Way It Was - It's The Way It Should Have Been! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

6 December 1972 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

El juez del patíbulo  »

Filming Locations:


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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bill McKinney plays a fellow gang member/Marshall to Ned Beatty. The same year, in Deliverance (1972), McKinney told Beatty to,squeal like a pig. See more »


Throughout the movie, the name of Ava Gardner's character is spelled Lillie Langtry. In the end credits, it is spelled Lily Langtry. See more »


Judge Roy Bean: Do you have anything to say before we find you guilty?
Sam Dodd: I'm not guilty of nothing. There's no crime that I've done wrong.
Judge Roy Bean: Do you deny the killing?
Sam Dodd: I do not deny it. But there's no place in that book where it says nothing about killing a Chinese. And no one I know ever heard a law on greasers, niggers, or injuns.
Judge Roy Bean: All men stand equal before the law. And I will hang a man for killing anyone, including Chinks, greasers, or niggers! I'm very advanced in my views and outspoken.
Sam Dodd: There's no place in ...
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Featured in Legends of the West (1992) See more »


Marmalade, Molasses and Honey
Lyrics by Marilyn Bergman and Alan Bergman
Music by Maurice Jarre
Sung by Andy Williams
[The song is played as background to the montage with Judge Bean, Maria Elena and the Watch Bear immediately after the bear's arrival in town]
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User Reviews

allegory for Huston
25 June 1999 | by (bettendorf, Iowa) – See all my reviews

This one is a very moving piece, and is a tribute to the director himself who, like the judge, felt often as if he had outlived his time. It does weaken when it moves into the mythological part in the final half-hour, and could've been cut a good twenty minutes without much damage. Still, there is a lot to like here.

Newman is very real, and successfully captures the outsider determined to make his world the one others should want to live in. For me, the most touching moment occurs when Ms. Langtry (a stunning Ava Gardner) visits the shrine to her memory left by the late Judge.

Like some of his other later work, this one doesn't seem sure where to end, and is left sort of abandoned, rather than finished. Still worth a look.

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