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Judge Priest (1934)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 28 September 1934 (USA)
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4:32 | Clip
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 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:

THE ROLE YOU'LL ALWAYS REMEMBER...as one of Will Rogers' Greatest! (1937 reissue print ad) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First credited film role for Hattie McDaniel. 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 Black History: Lost, Stolen or Strayed (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Black Joe
(1860) (uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Played by the band at the festival
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User Reviews

Will Rogers as Will Rogers.
28 February 2007 | by mkilmerSee all my reviews

This is warm movie with plenty of sympathetic characters. And plenty of nasty ones. A young love is threatened by a class-conscious mother, while the uncle is… well, he's Will Rogers. (The character's name is the title, Judge Billy Priest, but I suspect he's the "Will Rogers" character.) As with anything cast in the deep south in the 1890s, there are some moments and characters with which you might find yourself uncomfortable. I was taken aback by "Jeff Poindexter," portrayed by then-popular black actor Stepin Fetchit. (Fetchit has an awful, partisan political bio here at IMDb – the man deserves much better -- but he is an interesting story.) He seemed to me to be a set of overblown stereotypes, but the Judge befriends him and my wife was simply taken with him.

There's a lot to like about this film, although it does drag in places. (I was surprised when the lawn party ends.) I had to smile, though, when the judge got to play lawyer, called on witness, and the universe stood still to the strains of "Dixie."


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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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