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178 Ratings

Judge Priest

Directed by John Ford
United States, 1934
Comedy, Drama, Romance


Will Rogers plays the lead roll, that of Judge William “Billy” Priest in a very patriotic (Confederate) southern town. Priest plays a laid-back, widowed judge who helps uphold the law in his toughest court case yet. In the meantime, he plays matchmaker for his young nephew.

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Judge Priest Directed by John Ford

Critics reviews

Ford’s art is an essentially meditative one, and Judge Priest’s flavor lies less in its dramatic plot than in the way small human details—say, how a party is viewed as an occasion both for matchmaking and for vote-hunting—are woven together into an affectionate picture of a teeming community.
July 03, 2015
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There’s certainly no other Ford movie that I know that comes closer to celebrating the idyllic 19th century America of Mark Twain, expressing nostalgia for the snug, leisurely life in closely interknit small-town communities. But for me the real triumphs of this laid-back masterpiece are the performances—especially those of Will Rogers, Stepin Fetchit, and, in the film’s courtroom climax, Henry B. Walthall.
December 01, 2007
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