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Judge Priest (1934)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 28 September 1934 (USA)
Judge Priest, a proud Confederate veteran, uses common sense and considerable humanity to dispense justice in a small town in the Post-Bellum Kentucky.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Irvin S. Cobb (based on: character of "Judge Priest"), Dudley Nichols (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Will Rogers ... Judge Priest
Tom Brown ... Jerome Priest
Anita Louise ... Ellie May Gillespie
Henry B. Walthall ... Rev. Ashby Brand
David Landau ... Bob Gillis
Rochelle Hudson ... Virginia Maydew
Roger Imhof Roger Imhof ... Billy Gaynor
Frank Melton ... Flem Talley
Charley Grapewin ... Sergeant Jimmy Bagby
Berton Churchill ... Senator Horace Maydew
Brenda Fowler Brenda Fowler ... Mrs. Caroline Priest
Francis Ford ... Juror No. 12
Hattie McDaniel ... Aunt Dilsey (as Hattie McDaniels)
Stepin Fetchit ... Jeff Poindexter
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Storyline

Judge William "Billy" Priest lives in a very patriotic (Confederate) southern town. Priest plays a laid-back, widowed judge who helps uphold the law in his toughest court case yet. In the meantime, he plays matchmaker for his young nephew. Written by <marsattack@earthling.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mellow as a mint julep and twice as refreshing. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Old Judge Priest See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Working title was "Old Judge Priest" based on the title of the novel by humorist Irvin S. Cobb. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Judge William 'Billy' Priest: Hear! Hear! Hear! Court's called to order!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening card: The figures in this story are familiar ghosts of my own boyhood. The war between the states was over, but its tragedies and comedies haunted every grown man's mind, and the stories that were swapped took deep root in my memory. There was one man Down Yonder I came especially to admire for he seemed typical of the tolerance of that day and the wisdom of that almost vanished generation. I called him Judge Priest, and I tried to draw reasonably fair likenesses of him and his neighbors and the town in which we lived. An old Kentucky town in 1890. --- --- Irvin S. Cobb See more »

Connections

Featured in Bamboozled (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Aunt Dilsey's Song
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Cyril J. Mockridge
Lyrics by Dudley Nichols and Lamar Trotti
Sung a cappella by Hattie McDaniel
See more »

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User Reviews

Very good Ford
25 February 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Judge Priest (1934)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Wonderful film has Will Rogers playing the title role who has his own way of making justice prevail. Set in a small Kentucky town, the judge must battle a wide range of subjects but all of them seem to center around a mysterious man who is charged with assault. I wasn't too thrilled with the previous Rogers/Ford film that I watched but this one here hits all the right marks. Ford's love of Southern loyalty is certainly on full display from start to finish but he also paints a film that isn't really about anything yet it's about everything. Ford paints a terrific and authentic view of the South and even manages to work other items in like patriotic war battles and moving on in time. I think some of the best moments happen between Rogers and a black man named Jeff (Stepin Fetchit) who the judge saved from being hung. The two share several scenes together and their relationship comes off very sweet and human. The performances are all extremely good with Rogers leading the way as the soft spoken judge. Tom Brown and Anita Louise are also very good as Rogers' nephew and his girlfriend. The scene stealer comes from Henry B. Walthall who plays a Reverend with a secret past that comes out during the final courtroom scene. It's forgotten today that at one time Walthall was considered one of the greatest actors out there and his performance here is very thrilling and certainly grabs ones attention.


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