Oscar, Walter Brennan, Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Oscar, James Basevi, Best Art Direction, Black-and-White,Oscar, Stuart N. Lake, Best Writing, Original Story
Classic Film Guide
This is a very good Western, with an Oscar nominated script, directed by William Wyler. Walter Brennan won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar playing the legendary Judge Roy Bean; Gary Cooper plays a "drifter" who tangles with (then somewhat befriends) him. Forrest Tucker, Chill Wills, Dana Andrews, and Charles Halton also appear...Cooper, new to town, is suspected of being a horse thief. He is befriended by a local lady (Doris Davenport). He tries to win the judge's (Brennan) favor by saying he knows a celebrity, an actress (Lilian Bond), who's picture the judge has on his wall. Cooper uses the Judge's adoration to manipulate him by saying he can introduce him to her when she comes to Texas to perform. He also gets to know Davenport better and becomes involved in the town's struggle between farmers and ranchers (e.g. land use).
Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide
Excellent tale of land disputes getting out of hand in the old West, with Brennan's mercurial Judge Roy Bean winning him his third Oscar.
The Motion Picture Guide
A superior Western that mixes fine cinematography, terrific performances and a script of higher intelligence than most...
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