Legends of Western Cinema Week Blog Celebration – The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)

This is my sixth of 7 entries in the Legends of Western Cinema Week Blog Celebration being hosted by Hamlette of Hamlette’s Soliloquy, Heidi of Along the Brandywine, and Olivia of Meanwhile, in Rivendell

Tnx for letting me partake Ladies!

“The last time that bear ate a lawyer, he had the runs for thirty-three days.” – Judge Roy Bean

Number of Times Seen – 1 (24 Jul 2019)

Brief Synopsis – After nearly being hanged in a border town, an outlaw declares himself judge and enacts his kind of justice on anyone who comes to the town.

My Take on it – This is a film that I’ve been intrigued to watch for years due to the fact that it stars Paul Newman, yet never had the chance to check it out until now.

I had heard of Judge Roy Bean and was curious to see how this film would present his story.

Unfortunately, this movie is horrendous and fails to find a way to stay interesting at all.

The film seems to be made up mostly of unconnected vignettes during his “tenure” and they all feel much to disjointed to make us care to see what happens.

Even with Newman in the lead, his star charisma isn’t able to help make this film more enjoyable to watch.

The characters aren’t developed well enough and they mostly feel quite like one dimensional caricatures instead of something deeper which would help make us care about them or what will happen to them along the way.

The run time of this film is much too long and there are way too many scenes that drag along and make this film very difficult to watch, let alone follow.

I actually almost fell asleep numerous times based on how tedious the story is presented.

Bottom Line – Terrible film that seems to be a mix of numerous shorter vignettes instead of giving us an enjoyable story. Newman was a great actor, but even his charisma doesn’t help make this story any more interesting.  None of the characters feel developed enough and that also hurts things because we just don’t care about what will happen to any of them. The film is over long and I fund myself bored out of my mind too often even to a point where I almost fell asleep due to the tedious way this film is presented.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – John Milius wrote the screenplay with Lee Marvin in mind as Judge Roy Bean. He brought the script to Marvin when he was filming Pocket Money (1972), but Marvin fell asleep after one drink too many. His co-star Paul Newman found the screenplay, read it, loved it and petitioned for the part. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (3/10)


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3 thoughts on “Legends of Western Cinema Week Blog Celebration – The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)

  1. I didn’t think it was that bad, but I didn’t think it was so good either. Bean as an interesting character inspires writers/directors, but he seems awfully hard to pin down. Maybe the best depiction is Walter Brennan in The Westerner. I’ve come to appreciate that William Wyler movie more lately.

    – Caftan Woman


  2. This is one I’ve not seen yet — and you’re making me understand why my dad said it was “not all that great” when he watched it when I was a kid, and why he didn’t bother watching it over again with us. Maybe one of these days I’ll go on a Newman bender, but otherwise, oh well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1972 | MovieRob

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