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The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)

In Vinegaroon, Texas, former outlaw Roy Bean appoints himself the judge for the region and dispenses his brand of justice as he sees fit.

Director:

John Huston

Writer:

John Milius (original screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... Judge Roy Bean
Roy Jenson ... Outlaw
Gary Combs ... Outlaw
Fred Brookfield Fred Brookfield ... Outlaw
Bennie E. Dobbins Bennie E. Dobbins ... Outlaw (as Ben Dobbins)
Richard Farnsworth ... Outlaw (as Dick Farnsworth)
Leroy Johnson Leroy Johnson ... Outlaw (as LeRoy Johnson)
Fred Krone Fred Krone ... Outlaw
Terry Leonard Terry Leonard ... Outlaw
Dean Smith ... Outlaw
Margo Epper Margo Epper ... Whore
Jeannie Epper ... Whore
Stephanie Epper Stephanie Epper ... Whore
Victoria Principal ... Maria Elena
Barbara J. Longo Barbara J. Longo ... Fat Lady
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Storyline

A no account outlaw establishes his own particular brand of law and order and builds a town on the edges of civilization in this farcical western. With the aid of an old law text and unpredictable notions Roy Bean distinguishes between lawbreakers and lawgivers by way of his pistols. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If this story ain't true... it shoulda been See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

1 December 1972 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

El juez del patíbulo See more »

Filming Locations:

San Pedro River, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$16,530,578, 31 December 1973
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Sarrazin's name in the opening credits is listed as "participation". His "participation" in this movie amounts to appearing in a photograph at the end of the movie, portraying the husband of Rose Bean (Jacqueline Bisset). He does not physically appear in the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Judge Roy Bean goes out to the front of the courthouse to apologize to the women for calling them "whores", he takes his hat off and holds it against his chest. In the next shot, his hat is still in his hand. It subsequently returns to his head. See more »

Quotes

Nick the Grub (Jackson gang: Damn, Judge! You shot him in the back!
Whorehouse Lucky Jim (Jackson gang: Appears like he shot him in the back and the front! Judge, you didn't give him no chance!
Judge Roy Bean: He'd didn't deserve a chance. If he wanted a chance; he should have gone somewhere else.
See more »

Alternate Versions

British theatrical version was cut for an 'A' rating. See more »

Connections

Edited into La classe américaine (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Marmalade, Molasses and Honey
Lyrics by Marilyn Bergman and Alan Bergman
Music by Maurice Jarre
Sung by Andy Williams
[The song is played as background to the montage with Judge Bean, Maria Elena and the Watch Bear immediately after the bear's arrival in town]
See more »

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User Reviews

Texas--as it wishes it was
12 February 2003 | by wperkinsSee all my reviews

The real-life Judge Roy Bean, the law west of the Pecos, was a legendary figure who pulled off numerous publicity stunts for "his" town of Langtry, meanwhile administering a little justice along the way. If you'ver ever watched Northern Exposure, a good comparison might be Barry Corbin's Maurice Minnifield. That being said, the real Judge Bean pales in comparison to the legend that has built up over the years. That legend is what Huston concerns himself with, and it serves him well. The film is very episodic in nature, and for the first half, it does not disappoint. Paul Newman's first scene, where he's beaten, left for dead, and returns to wreck vengeance on every last one of his attackers sets the tone for the rest of the film. This is high mythology, tall tales at their best; you get the impression that this is how we Texans really wish our history read--colorful, eclectic, ruthless at times, and occasionally downright bizarre. From beer drinking bears to albino bandits, it's certainly interesting.

That being said, the film definitely takes a melancholy tone as civilization comes to Langtry. With it comes the disdain for such colorful characters as Bean, who seemingly has no place in the new, modern world. It's sad, but makes for an especially poignant ending. Newman's Judge is a blustering wonder; other standouts include Anthony Perkins, Ned Beatty, Roddy McDowell, and a very young and fetching Victoria Principal. Also making cameos are Jacqueline Bissett, Stacy Keach, Ava Gardner, and even the director himself.

All in all, a funny, touching film.


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