The Judge (2014) Poster



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Someone rhetorically mentions Atticus Finch, a reference to To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), which was Robert Duvall's screen debut, playing Arthur "Boo" Radley.
The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2012 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year.
First feature release from "Team Downey", Robert Downey, Jr. and wife Susan Downey's production company.
Jack Nicholson and Tommy Lee Jones were considered for the role that went to Robert Duvall, who was Jones' Lonesome Dove (1989) co-star.
The Firefly Bar is named as a tribute to Joss Whedon, who produced Firefly (2002), and some of the Marvel movies featuring Robert Downey, Jr. David Krumholtz, who plays the Chicago prosecutor, played the hacker in Whedon's Serenity (2005), the theatrical follow-up to Firefly (2002).
Despite having worked together in films at least twice before, Robert Duvall didn't remember meeting Robert Downey, Jr. when they got together for this film. He said on The Graham Norton Show: Robert Duvall/Robert Downey Jr./Stephen Fry/U2 (2014): "Well, he's cleaned up a lot since!" Duvall and Downey previously worked together on The Gingerbread Man (1998) and Lucky You (2007).
Hank Palmer's (Robert Downey, Jr.'s) very non-traditionally modern Chicago house is actually located in the Boston area, and is the home of the architect that designed it, Charles Rose.
Vera Farmiga and Robert Downey, Jr. play characters who are supposed to be the same age, but she is eight years younger than him. Leighton Meester, who plays Farmiga's daughter, is just thirteen years younger than her, while Sarah Lancaster who plays Downey's wife, is fifteen years younger than him.
The fishing cabin, where the judge receives his chemotherapy treatments, is the same cabin that was used in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002) (where Siddalee stays after fighting with her mother). Both movies were filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Robert Duvall was nominated for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar for the film.
Robert Downey, Jr.'s first leading role in a non "Marvel" and non "Sherlock Holmes" movie since Due Date (2010).
A juror tells a joke about Willie Nelson, whose version of "The Scientist" plays during the end credits.
The final choices for the lead female role were Vera Farmiga and Elizabeth Banks, who hails from western Massachusetts, where the movie was shot.
This movie is set in "Carlinville, Indiana." A real town of Carlinville is located in Illinois, halfway between St. Louis, Missouri and Springfield.
Billy Bob Thornton and Robert Duvall previously starred together in Sling Blade (1996), The Apostle (1997), and Jayne Mansfield's Car (2012). Additionally, Robert Duvall appeared in A Family Thing (1996), which was written by Thornton.
Evansville is a real city in southern Indiana. The airport shown was not filmed there, however.
There are three additional references to previous roles Robert Duvall has played: 1) The bailiff's name is Augustus or Gus....Duvall has often said that the role of Augustus McCrae in Lonesome Dove (1989) was one of his favorites. There's a bit of a gleam and a subtle smile when Duvall's character says "Gus". 2) When Sam and Hank are discussing their past at the lake, Sam uses the phrase "A more superior prick never shit between two shoes." Duvall's character in The Great Santini (1979) is described as "The greatest Marine fighter pilot that ever crapped between two shoes!" 3) Sam talks about "an offer he can't refuse", a line from The Godfather (1972), where Robert Duvall played Tom Hagen.
Before going on a bike ride, Hank Palmer changes into an old Metallica t-shirt from the "Damaged Justice" tour, circa 1988-1989. The back of the shirt features an illustration of a giant judge's gavel.
Judge Palmer (Robert Duvall), and his doctor, tell Hank Palmer (Robert Downey, Jr.) that the Judge has been undergoing chemotherapy for a year. In court, Judge Palmer states that he has been undergoing chemotherapy for six months. In a real trial, Hank, as a defense attorney, would have been obligated to correct the Judge's deliberate effort to diminish the extent of his treatment, but Hank does not do that.
Robert Duvall played Billy Bob Thornton's father in Sling Blade (1996).
Dax Shepard also played an inept defense attorney in Idiocracy (2006).
Grace Zabriskie, whose character has a feud with Judge Palmer, played a character named Palmer in Twin Peaks (1990).
Joseph Palmer says in the film, that he is seventy-two years old. Robert Duvall was eleven years older when the film was released, and became the oldest Oscar nominee ever, for his performance at the age of eighty-four.
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The actors who played the two judges, Judge Palmer (Robert Duvall) and Judge Warren (Ken Howard), each played the husband of Blythe Danner in memorable landmark roles in the 1970s, Howard in 1776 (1972) and Adam's Rib (1973), and Duvall in The Great Santini (1979).
Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall appeared in The Gingerbread Man (1998).
Robert Duvall and Robert Downey, Jr. appeared in Lucky You (2007).
Robert Downey, Jr. and Vincent D'Onofrio play two of the Palmer brothers. They also appear in the Marvel Universe. Downey is Tony Stark, and D'Onofrio is Wilson Fisk (Kingpin) in Daredevil (2015).
In the initial scene, where Robert Downey, Jr. drives into Indiana, all of the headrests have been removed from the car.
In addition to Robert Downey, Jr. playing Iron Man, Vincent D'Onofrio's character in Adventures in Babysitting (1987) symbolized Thor.
C.P. Kennedy (Dax Shepard) claims he attended law school at Valparaiso. This is a private university in a same-named town in Indiana.
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There are several connections to Sherlock Holmes in this movie. Robert Downey, Jr. played Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011). Vincent D'Onofrio played Moriarty in Sherlock (2002). Robert Duvall played Doctor Watson in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976).
Judge Palmer (Robert Duvall) mentions that Hank's (Robert Downey, Jr.'s) wife was "playing hide the pickle". In Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Tony Stark (also played by Downey) says that Black Widow and Bruce Banner are "playing hide the zucchini".
Director David Dobkin claimed, that he and Robert Downey, Jr. wanted Hank Palmer to seem as much as possible like Tony Stark at the beginning of the film, in order to play with audience expectations of the character.
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Grace Zabriskie and Robert Duvall played a couple in A Family Thing (1996).
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The name Hank Palmer combines two heroes from Marvel and DC comics: Hank Pym and Ray Palmer, and both of them are size shifters and are scientists. Robert Downey, Jr., who plays Hank Palmer, has also played Tony Stark, a Marvel comics scientist, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The scene of Hank and Joseph's reunion in the funeral home, was actually one of the last filmed. David Dobkin wanted to avoid such a scene, and to instead just show the two of them resuming their tension and bickering. But as the film was edited, Dobkin decided otherwise.
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Harry Palmer, played by Sir Michael Caine, is the name of Len Deighton's spy in The Ipcress File (1965) and Funeral in Berlin (1966). (Other than similar character names, Sir Michael Caine had nothing to do with this film.)
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When Hank is driving through his hometown, he mutters that things never change. All of the vehicles that are seen on the streets, are parked parallel to the street, rather than appropriately parked in their spaces.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Robert Duvall initially objected to performing the scene in which Joseph Palmer defecates on the bathroom floor, but was persuaded by David Dobkin.
This is the second film in which which Robert Downey, Jr.'s character is sexually attracted to a female who might be his daughter. The other film was Chances Are (1989).
Despite the film ending on an open note, in the Director's commentary, David Dobkin says that he is certain that Hank will become Judge of Carlinville, and hence the title of the film refers to Hank, not Joseph.
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It's ironic that Hank mentions inbreeding to the bartender that he ends up making out with, as it is later revealed that she is his niece.
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