Judge Priest (1934)
So it turns out that John Ford was just as great at making “courtroom comedies” as he was at making Westerns. At least, that what I can gather from what I’ve seen. It might just be a coincidence that this and Young Mr. Lincoln are my favorite films of his, and are so by a considerable margin. Neither films are strictly confined to a trial, but both are built around one. The more charming and funny moments do come from the proceedings, but the best parts come from Ford’s unequaled comprehension of Midwestern American life. It has that amazing sense of poetry, the kind that Ford was proficient in producing during the 30s.
William Priest has been the local judge for quite some time. His unorthodox, laid-back style isn’t exactly professional, but his personality has become woven into the fabric of the town. His nephew has recently returned home and…
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