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Judge Priest (1934) - movie overview

Judge Priest (1934)

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Plot Description

Running Time
1 hour, 21 minutes

Country USA

Studio 20th Century Fox

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Other Titles
• Judge Priest

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Genre: Comedy, Outlaws, Courtroom, Mistaken Identity

Tagline: Enough laughs to make your head spin!

Plot: In a 1972 interview, John Ford claimed that this slice of Americana, starring Will Rogers as the title character, was his favorite among his films. Certainly Rogers rarely found a part better suited to him than that of this humorous, commonsensical small-town justice. Essentially a string of anecdotes connected by the humor of the judge, JUDGE PRIEST features a plot that revolves around the legitimacy of Ellie May Gillespie (Anita Louise), a pretty orphan sought after by the judge's nephew, Rome (Tom Brown), a young lawyer. During a warm (quintessentially Fordian) monologue at his wife's grave, the judge glimpses local blacksmith Bob Gillis (David Landau) putting flowers by the grave of Ellie May's mother. When the aging Gillis gets into a brawl with three young men after they've cast public aspersion on Ellie May's virtue, the leader of the young men, Talley (Frank Melton), takes Gillis to court. Since Rome is defending Gillis, Judge Priest must excuse himself from the process. Despite Rome's best efforts, Gillis refuses to reveal his motives for defending the girl's reputation. Perhaps only Judge Priest can solve the problem. The highlight of this extremely enjoyable character-based comedy is the performance of the great monologuist Rogers, who spreads his wings wide in a role

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 Directed by
John Ford
The Searchers, The Grapes of Wrath, The Quiet Man
 Written by
Dudley Nichols
Bringing Up Baby, Stagecoach, And Then There Were None
Will Rogers
The Roaring Twenties
Tom Brown
Maytime, Anne of Green Gables, In Old Chicago
Anita Louise
The Little Princess, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Marie Antoinette
Henry B. Walthall
The Birth of a Nation, Wings, A Tale of Two Cities
David Landau
Horse Feathers, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, She Done Him Wrong
Rochelle Hudson
Rebel Without a Cause, She Done Him Wrong, Strait-Jacket
Roger Imhof
The Grapes of Wrath, San Francisco, This Gun for Hire
 Music By
Cyril J. Mockridge
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Miracle on 34th Street, My Darling Clementine

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