Judge Priest Screen 2 articles

Judge Priest

1934

Judge Priest Poster
  • 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.

  • 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.

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