A no account outlaw establishes his own particular brand of law and order and builds a town on the edges of civilization in this farcical western. With the aid of an old law text and unpredictable notions Roy Bean distinguishes between lawbreakers and lawgivers by way of his pistols. Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
When Judge Roy Bean goes out to the front of the courthouse to apologize to the women for calling them "whores", he takes his hat off and holds it against his chest. In the next shot, his hat is still in his hand. It subsequently returns to his head. See more »
This one is a very moving piece, and is a tribute to the director himself who, like the judge, felt often as if he had outlived his time. It does weaken when it moves into the mythological part in the final half-hour, and could've been cut a good twenty minutes without much damage. Still, there is a lot to like here.
Newman is very real, and successfully captures the outsider determined to make his world the one others should want to live in. For me, the most touching moment occurs when Ms. Langtry (a stunning Ava Gardner) visits the shrine to her memory left by the late Judge.
Like some of his other later work, this one doesn't seem sure where to end, and is left sort of abandoned, rather than finished. Still worth a look.
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