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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.

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(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:
... Judge Roy Bean
... Outlaw
... Outlaw
Fred Brookfield ... Outlaw
Bennie E. Dobbins ... Outlaw (as Ben Dobbins)
... Outlaw (as Dick Farnsworth)
Leroy Johnson ... Outlaw (as LeRoy Johnson)
Fred Krone ... Outlaw
Terry Leonard ... Outlaw
... Outlaw
Margo Epper ... Whore
Jeannie Epper ... Whore
Stephanie Epper ... Whore
... Maria Elena
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:

Maybe This Isn't The Way It Was - It's The Way It Should Have Been! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 December 1972 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

El juez del patíbulo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Huston acknowledged the film's lack of success in his autobiography, "An Open Book" writing that it was not exactly a failure, " . . . but you could hardly call it a roaring success. It didn't take off, as they say. Still, there were some very good things in it." Huston felt that the story was " . . . in the fine old American tradition of the Tall Tale, the Whopper, the yarn peopled with outrageous characters capable of prodigious and highly improbable deeds. At the same time, it said something important about frontier life and the loss of America's innocence." Huston owned up to the scattershot nature of the storytelling, and wrote that "to heighten the effect, I made deliberate use of a technique that has since become much more popular, letting all sorts of events occur without logical justification. Things appear, things happen, funny, sad, comic, dramatic. Ludicrous one minute and sober the next". See more »

Goofs

When they bury the bear the gravestone indicates the bear was about 3 years old and died in 1899. That would mean that the visit to the town by Grizzly Adams would have occurred around 1896 or so. That would be impossible since Grizzly Adams died in 1860. See more »

Quotes

Judge Roy Bean: I ain't gonna sentence you, boy. But, I am gonna warn ya. If you ain't out of town here in five minutes, I'm gonna open court in earnest.
Pimp: I haven't even got a horse.
Judge Roy Bean: Steal one! A fast one! Remember, we hang horse thieves around here!
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Connections

Featured in John Huston: The Man, the Movies, the Maverick (1988) 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]
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User Reviews

A unique and successful mythic treatment of a quintessental American folk-hero.
8 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

Unlike other comedic Western films of this era, John Huston's THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JUDGE ROY BEAN is based on a singular premise: that God Almighty has decided to judge men on this earth through Roy Bean, a petty outlaw and drifter. Early in the film Anthony Perkins (as the circuit riding Methodist minister the Reverdend LaSalle)recites the salient portion of Psalm 58 at an impromptu funeral he is presiding over for the deceased frontier scum that tried to kill and rob the solitary Roy Bean, (to their catastrophic destruction by Bean himself) Thia will remain the recurring theme and leitmotiv that will dominate and justify the startling and unlikely quest of Judge Roy Bean, petty criminal turned self appointed judge of Vinagaroon county Texas.

Despite the extreme rusticity of Bean's surrounding and beginnings, his quixotic position of dispenser of justice steadily grows and grows until Bean has become the most respected and influential man in that extreme outpost of civization.His position takes on a unmistakable sort of grandeur, as does his chivalrous obsession with Lily Langtry, which in the end has flowered into perhaps the last shout of true chivalry in the ancient European sense. When the corrupting forces of the encroaching outside world seem to have completely swallowed up Bean's life's work, the judge, who has been 'down the pike/' for twenty years, unexpectedly returns for a true DIES IRAE, a reckoning. The final scenes with Ava Gardner as Lily Langtry, visiting the tiny remaining outpost and museum which bear her name delivers a ending moment of surprisingly fine sentiment. I LOVED this picture, with the exception of the idiotic song that was inserted into the middle of this soaring myth (probably insisted upon by investors who thought an original song, no matter how dismal would increase the projected box office to the level of BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID.


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