John Ford weaves three "Judge Priest" stories together to form a good- natured exploration of honour and small-town politics in the South around the turn of the century. Judge William ... See full summary »
Larson E. Whipsnade runs a seedy circus which is perpetually in debt. His performers give him nothing but trouble, especially Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Meanwhile, Whipsnade's son ... See full summary »
Edward F. Cline
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
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 »
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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