6.3/10
1,772
34 user 13 critic

Judge Priest (1934)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 28 September 1934 (USA)
Judge Priest, a proud Confederate veteran, uses common sense and considerable humanity to dispense justice in a small town in the Post-Bellum Kentucky.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Irvin S. Cobb (based on: character of "Judge Priest"), Dudley Nichols (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Doctor Bull (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Doc Bull, a no-nonsense country doctor who has served his community for decades, fights small-town prejudice and provincialism in several crises.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Will Rogers, Marian Nixon, Vera Allen
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Louisiana con man enters his steamboat into a winner-take-all race with a rival while trying to find a witness to free his nephew, about to be hanged for murder.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Will Rogers, Anne Shirley, Irvin S. Cobb
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was imprisoned after innocently treating President Lincoln's assassin in 1865.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Warner Baxter, Gloria Stuart, Claude Gillingwater
Comedy | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

John Ford weaves three "Judge Priest" stories together to form a good- natured exploration of honour and small-town politics in the South around the turn of the century. Judge William ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: Charles Winninger, Arleen Whelan, John Russell
Tobacco Road (1941)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Hillbilly family life in 1941 rural Georgia.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Charley Grapewin, Gene Tierney, Marjorie Rambeau
Up the River (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

When paroled trustee Steve and former inmate Judy who try to put their criminal lives behind them are blackmailed, two career criminals come to their rescue.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Claire Luce, Warren Hymer
The Informer (1935)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1922, an Irish rebel informs on his friend, then feels doom closing in.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel, Preston Foster
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A meek milquetoast of a clerk is mistaken for Public Enemy #1, and the notorious killer takes advantage of the situation.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Jean Arthur, Arthur Hohl
3 Godfathers (1948)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Three outlaws on the run find a dying woman in the desert who gives birth to a baby. The mother entrusts the care of the child to the three men.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Pedro Armendáriz, Harry Carey Jr.
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Richard Girard is part of a New Orleans family working closely with the English Warburtons. When Richard meets Mary Warburton she is engaged to Erik von Gerardt. He does wed Mary but their time in America is financially difficult.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Madeleine Carroll, Franchot Tone, Reginald Denny
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Chinese warlord and an engaged Christian missionary fall in love.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Nils Asther, Toshia Mori
Wagon Master (1950)
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two young drifters guide a Mormon wagon train to the San Juan Valley and encounter cutthroats, Indians, geography, and moral challenges on the journey.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Ben Johnson, Joanne Dru, Harry Carey Jr.
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Will Rogers ... Judge Priest
Tom Brown ... Jerome Priest
Anita Louise ... Ellie May Gillespie
Henry B. Walthall ... Rev. Ashby Brand
David Landau ... Bob Gillis
Rochelle Hudson ... Virginia Maydew
Roger Imhof Roger Imhof ... Billy Gaynor
Frank Melton ... Flem Talley
Charley Grapewin ... Sergeant Jimmy Bagby
Berton Churchill ... Senator Horace Maydew
Brenda Fowler Brenda Fowler ... Mrs. Caroline Priest
Francis Ford ... Juror No. 12
Hattie McDaniel ... Aunt Dilsey (as Hattie McDaniels)
Stepin Fetchit ... Jeff Poindexter
Edit

Storyline

Judge William "Billy" Priest lives 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. Written by <marsattack@earthling.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mellow as a mint julep and twice as refreshing. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Old Judge Priest See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In a 1972 interview, a year before he died, director John Ford stated that this was his favorite film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Judge William 'Billy' Priest: Hear! Hear! Hear! Court's called to order!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening card: The figures in this story are familiar ghosts of my own boyhood. The war between the states was over, but its tragedies and comedies haunted every grown man's mind, and the stories that were swapped took deep root in my memory. There was one man Down Yonder I came especially to admire for he seemed typical of the tolerance of that day and the wisdom of that almost vanished generation. I called him Judge Priest, and I tried to draw reasonably fair likenesses of him and his neighbors and the town in which we lived. An old Kentucky town in 1890. --- --- Irvin S. Cobb See more »

Connections

Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Love's Old Sweet Song (Just a Song at Twilight)
(1884) (uncredited)
Music by J.L. Molloy
Lyrics by G. Clifton Bingham
Sung offscreen by an unidentified voice
Played also in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Little Colonel Meets Colonel Sanders
10 May 2006 | by movingpicturegalSee all my reviews

In the South, Kentucky circa 1890, we meet Judge Priest (played by Will Rogers), laid-back circuit court judge who dresses like Colonel Sanders and has bigger interests than court trials - namely lawn croquet, mint juleps, Confederate veteran social gatherings, taffy pulls, and his new-found friendship with an accused chicken thief (played by Stepin Fetchit) put on trial in his courtroom, who gives the judge tips on fishing for catfish. The judge also enjoys matchmaking for his nephew Rome (Tom Brown), a young man who has just graduated from law school and who is in love with the pretty girl next door in spite of his stuffy mama's protests (seems the girl isn't good enough for the mighty "Kentucky Priest's", mama has her eye on someone else for her son). Soon the film switches gear when our young lawyer gets his first case and defends a local man put on trial.

This film was actually quite a bit better than I was expecting - Will Rogers, whose role dominates this film (aside from Henry B. Walthall, who has a smaller, but important piece here) was more interesting in this than I have seen him in other roles, probably because he comes across as more like himself than a character. Henry B. Walthall, the handsome "Little Colonel" in "The Birth of a Nation", still looks attractive here nearly 20 years later, a real silver fox to my eyes. Hattie McDaniel plays a stereotypical black mammy, singing and hanging laundry and preparing the judge yet another mint julep in most of her scenes, yet comes across with loads of charm. Really quite an interesting film.


14 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed