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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Michael Sarrazin's name in the opening credits is listed as "participation". His "participation" in this movie amounts to appearing in a photograph at the end of the movie, portraying the husband of Rose Bean (Jacqueline Bisset). He does not physically appear in the movie. See more »
When Judge Roy Bean goes out to the front of the courthouse to apologize to the women for calling them "whores", he takes his hat off and holds it against his chest. In the next shot, his hat is still in his hand. It subsequently returns to his head. See more »
Judge Roy Bean:
[talking to Maria Elena]
Maybe you can explain to these people here that I mean them no harm. Tell 'em it's going to be a new place. It's going to be a nice place to live. I'm the new judge. There will be law. There is going to be order, progress, civilization, peace... Above all, peace. And I don't care who I have to kill to get it. Now go on, you tell 'em that.
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This underrated/underseen Huston film is definitely worth a look. Newman is wonderful as Roy Bean, and the large supporting cast is amazing, especially Anthony Perkins as a travelling padre, Stacy Keach as Bad Bob, Roddy McDowell as a wormy lawyer, Ned Beatty as the outlaw who'd rather be a bartender, and John Huston himself as Grizzly Adams. This is not a perfect picture at all. It falls apart by the last third or so, has a terrible day-for-night process shot that doesn't really work, and a unnecessary and embarrassing "raindrops keep falling on my head"-type musical montage, but the rest of it is great fun. This is the crazy kind of script Milius used to write in the 70s, like Apocalypse Now and especially 1941. The tone is very odd, but if you like your comedy dark and your westerns satirical you'll find lots to like about this one. A very broad and dark performance by Newman, who manages to find the pathos and integrity of this western charicature. It's a nice companion/contrast to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Kind of what Rami must have been going for in The Quick and the Dead (minus the Spaghetti Western style), and the examination of the mythic hero that Roderiguez tried for in Desperado, but much better achieved by Huston (duh). Fun stuff.
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