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 ... Billy Gaynor
Frank Melton ... Flem Talley
Charley Grapewin ... Sergeant Jimmy Bagby
Berton Churchill ... Senator Horace Maydew
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:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fox bought the motion picture rights to the first three stories listed in the literature section. The fourth story, "The Mob from Massac," was inadvertently used without compensation. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Judge William 'Billy' Priest: Hear! Hear! Hear! Court's called to order!
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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 Directed by John Ford (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

The Little Brown Jug
(1869) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Joseph Winner
Sung a cappella by Hattie McDaniel with modified lyrics
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User Reviews

 
The Little Colonel Meets Colonel Sanders
10 May 2006 | by movingpicturegalSee all my reviews

In the South, Kentucky circa 1890, we meet Judge Priest (played by Will Rogers), laid-back circuit court judge who dresses like Colonel Sanders and has bigger interests than court trials - namely lawn croquet, mint juleps, Confederate veteran social gatherings, taffy pulls, and his new-found friendship with an accused chicken thief (played by Stepin Fetchit) put on trial in his courtroom, who gives the judge tips on fishing for catfish. The judge also enjoys matchmaking for his nephew Rome (Tom Brown), a young man who has just graduated from law school and who is in love with the pretty girl next door in spite of his stuffy mama's protests (seems the girl isn't good enough for the mighty "Kentucky Priest's", mama has her eye on someone else for her son). Soon the film switches gear when our young lawyer gets his first case and defends a local man put on trial.

This film was actually quite a bit better than I was expecting - Will Rogers, whose role dominates this film (aside from Henry B. Walthall, who has a smaller, but important piece here) was more interesting in this than I have seen him in other roles, probably because he comes across as more like himself than a character. Henry B. Walthall, the handsome "Little Colonel" in "The Birth of a Nation", still looks attractive here nearly 20 years later, a real silver fox to my eyes. Hattie McDaniel plays a stereotypical black mammy, singing and hanging laundry and preparing the judge yet another mint julep in most of her scenes, yet comes across with loads of charm. Really quite an interesting film.


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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
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