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Arkansas Judge (1941)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Musical | 28 January 1941 (USA)
Peaceful Valley town-founder, Judge Abner Weaver is distressed when the townspeople begin gossiping and "bearing false witness'" against Mary Shoemaker , the community handy-woman, who is ... See full summary »

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(novel), (adaptation) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Judge Abner Weaver (as Weaver Brothers and Elviry)
... Cicero Weaver (as Weaver Brothers and Elviry)
... Elviry Weaver (as Weaver Brothers and Elviry)
... Tom Martel
... Mary Shoemaker
... Margaret Weaver
... August Huston
... Hettie Huston
... Widow Smithers
... Violey Weaver
... Miranda Wolfson
Beatrice Maude ... Mrs. Fred Neill
Harrison Greene ... Mr. Fred Neill
Barry Macollum ... Patrick Melvany
... Mr. Beaudry
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Storyline

Peaceful Valley town-founder, Judge Abner Weaver is distressed when the townspeople begin gossiping and "bearing false witness'" against Mary Shoemaker , the community handy-woman, who is charged with having stolen fifty dollars from Widow Smithers , and he and his wife Elviry and brother Cicero stoutly defend Mary. The theft becomes a matter of community interest when a rumor is circulated that Hettie Huston , daughter of the local banker, August Houston, has stolen the money in order to buy an expensive evening gown with which to dazzle Tom Martel, a young lawyer whose legal education was sponsored by Judge Weaver, whose daughter Margaret is also in love with Tom, and the young lawyer is torn between the sophisticated attractions of Hettie and the simple charm of Margaret. In order to save his daughter's reputation, August Houston is eager to have Mary Shoemaker's guilt established and to induce her to quietly leave town. Judge Weaver (not on the bench)defends her so heatedly that ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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MORE Laughs...Thrills...Music...than ever before! JOIN THE FUN! See more »


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Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

28 January 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

False Witness  »

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(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Thou Shalt not bear false witness
12 June 2013 | by See all my reviews

I once wrote to Roy Rogers, Jr. about his dad's credits in the Weaver Family films at Republic and what he told me was that like all the other studio bosses Herbert J. Yates believed in keeping his contract players working. Even though by 1941 Roy Rogers was a full fledged film star he still got cast in support of the Weaver Family in Arkansas Judge. As befit his star status though he was billed first in the supporting cast.

The Weaver Family was just that three performers related to each other named Weaver who did essentially hillbilly music and were stars of the Grand Old Opry at the time. They did a few films for Republic at the time which were popular in what would become the red states. Leon Weaver plays a town judge who likes to cut back occasionally and do some jamming with the family.

His part was something that other Rogers named Will could have done had he lived. Weaver has worked hard to keep his valley both peaceful and harmonious. But war clouds descend when Eily Mahlon accuses poor widow Spring Byington of the theft of $50.00 she had hidden in her flour barrel. She has no proof mind you, but a weak circumstantial case.

Weaver is all for living and let living, but town banker Frank M. Thomas has his own reasons for wanting the blame to fall on Byington. It all gets quite ugly before the truth is learned.

As for Roy he is caught between two women, Pauline Moore and Veda Ann Borg. He gets to be in courtroom scene as a lawyer defending Leon Weaver from a slander suit brought by Thomas. It's every actor's dream and he fulfilled it. He also has one song to sing Peaceful Valley as most of the musical numbers were for the Weaver Family. Roy doesn't have that many scenes, but he makes what he has count.

Arkansas Judge coming from Republic Pictures doesn't have the touches and production values from a major studio. I wasn't expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised in that this film was a powerful indictment against gossip and slander. And Spring Byington gets the accolades for best performance. She is quite touching as the poor, put upon widow whom the town of Peaceful Valley turns against and makes war on.

As for Roy Rogers this is a film he should be known better for.


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