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The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
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Director John Huston ("The African Queen," "The Maltese Falcon") and a powerhouse cast make magic in this tongue-in-cheek Western saga. Academy Award-winner Paul Newman ("Nobody's Fool," "The Sting") shines as the real life, self-appointed judge. All-star supporting cast includes Academy Award-nominees Anthony Perkins ("Psycho") and Ava Gardner ("The Sun Also Rises"), Jacqueline Bisset ("Rich and Famous"), Roddy McDowell ("Planet of the Apes"), Tab Hunter ("Grease 2"), Ned Beatty ("Roseanne"), and then-newcomer Victoria Principal ("Dallas") in her feature film debut. Written by John Milius ("Clear and Present Danger," "Apocalypse Now").
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SUMMARY: An outlaw, Roy Bean, rides into a West Texas border town called Vinegaroon by himself. The customers in the saloon beat him, rob him, toss a noose around him, and let Bean's horse drag him off. A young woman named Maria Elena finds and helps him. Bean promptly returns to town and shoots all those who did him wrong. With no law and order, he appoints himself judge and "the law west of the Pecos" and becomes the townspeople's "patrone." Bean renames the saloon The Jersey Lilly and hangs a portrait of a woman he worships but has never met, Lillie Langtry, a noted actress and singer of the 1890s. When a band of thieves come to town (Big Bart Jackson and gang members Nick the Grub, Fermel Parlee and Whorehouse Lucky Jim), rather than oppose them, Bean swears them in as lawmen. The new marshals round up other outlaws, and then claim their money after Bean sentences them to hang. Dispensing his own kind of frontier justice, Bean lets the marshals hang Sam Dodd and share his money. When a drunk shoots up a saloon, Bean doesn't mind, but when Lily's portrait is struck by a bullet, the fellow is shot dead on the spot. Prostitutes are sentenced to remain in town and keep the marshals company.
QUESTIONS: Who was Maria Elena? Who was the mountain man? What kind of gift did he give to Maria? Why did Bean go to San Antonio? What did the Judge bring back to Maria?
MY THOUGHTS: I loved this movie. There was action and drama right from the beginning. I thought the job that Paul Newman did in the role, as Judge Roy Bean was great. This Western had something in it as most Westerns don't and that was comedy. One of the best is when Maria catches the Judge with another woman an she takes after him with a shotgun. I bought this movie however for Victoria Principal and I wasn't disappointed. This was Victoria introduction and she was great. She was very young in this picture but her acting was great. You didn't get to see much of her because it was a Western, however because of her beauty and acting I'm giving this movie 5 weasel stars.