Cole Harden just doesn't look like a horse thief, Jane-Ellen Matthews tells Judge Roy Bean as she steps up to the bar. Cole says he can't take it with him as he empties all of his coins on the bar to buy drinks for the jury. He notices two big pictures of Lily Langtry behind the bar. Sure, Cole has met the Jersey Lily, whom the hanging judge adores, even has a lock of her hair. Hanging is delayed for two weeks, giving Cole time to get in the middle of a range war between cattlemen and homesteaders and to still be around when Lily Langtry, former mistress of Edward VII who became an international actress, arrives in Texas.Written by
Dale O'Connor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The town was named for George Langtry, an engineer and foreman who had supervised a Chinese work crew building the railroad, and not for the actress Lillie Langtry. See more »
Judge Roy W. Bean:
Mr. Harden, it's my duty to inform you that the larceny of an equine is a capital offense punishable by death, but you can rest assured that in this court, a horse thief always gets a fair trial before he's hung.
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Opening credits: "After the Civil War, America, in the throes of rebirth, set its face West where the land was free. First came the cattlemen and with them "Judge" Roy Bean, who took the law into his own hands, administering justice according to his lights. That he left his impress on the history of Texas is tribute to his greatness. Then into his stronghold moved another army, the homesteaders, who ploughed the soil, fenced in fields, to bring security to their wives and children. War was inevitable, a war out of which grew the Texas of today." See more »
I first watched this movie because of Gary Cooper (after seeing "The Pride of the Yankees," the man could do no wrong in my book). While Coop is great in "The Westerner," it is -- lock, stock and blazing barrels -- Walter Brennan's performance as Judge Roy Bean that steals the show. What a deeply nuanced character! Here's an example of an actor making a villain a likeable, endearing character. Brennan richly deserved his Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
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