The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean Reviews

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August 2, 2016
An offbeat western. A great performance by Paul Newman
July 26, 2016
director john huston proves he's able 2 direct any film genre with this surreal revisionist western.
July 14, 2016
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean is an interesting western for sure. Roy Bean comes into a bar in the middle of nowhere and gets beaten and robbed, and they try to lynch him via horse. After getting sunburned and almost killed, a Mexican woman gives him a gun and he goes for vengeance. Titling himself a Judge, he decides to become the leader of the land, to make right law and order with an iron vigilante fist. He makes some quick deputies and they hang anyone they please, and have crazy adventures and deal with many zany things, such as a younger Stacy Keach as Bad Bob, a nasty albino and a also a bear. The movie jumps ahead and talks about the changing times, and its a violent but interesting look at civilization and justice.
June 17, 2016
Fun movie. Newman gives a great performance. Luv the bear
½ April 23, 2016
Technically speaking, this movie is completely ridiculous, lacks character development, and it ultimately pretty meaningless. It saves itself however, by just how wacky and entertaining it is. What other western movie can you see that has a scene where the lead characters wash their pet bear to a cheery Andy Williams song? I appreciated how this film actually delivered on its "revisionist" promises while staying entertaining, which is what most of these early 70's westerns fail to do. Not a masterpiece or even technically a good film, but it's a hoot.
February 28, 2016
Cynical Wild West flick. I liked the lilli tribute.
March 2, 2015
kills me you can't have this film in ultraviolet. One of my favorite westerns.
January 30, 2015
This is a greatly underrated epic western, starring the great Paul Newman at his best. The movie is highly entertaining, humorous, and emotionally moving. With Victoria Principal, Ava Gardner, and Roddy McDowell.
½ January 12, 2015
Uneven but entertaining.

An interesting western, directed by the great John Huston. Starts off as a revenge movie, though it is soon obvious that Huston is making more of a comedy than a drama. Some of the scenes that follow are incredibly funny, often in a dark sort of way.

However, as the movie develops it starts to take the guise of a social drama, exploring how power corrupts. This, however, is a very short-lived theme.

After a point it takes on a sentimental tone and ends with a rush of action.

So pretty much every movie genre covered, in less than two hours...

This unevenness is quite disconcerting, and unfulfilling. Rather than get a complete moral, we have pieces of many.

However, the movie does not lack in entertainment. The first half is great and the ending is very emotional.

Not perfect, but it will do.
September 8, 2014
A wonderful revisionist western. A fable if you will with plenty of humour and a big dollop of sentiment for the old west. Loved it. Even down to the big cheesy ending. You might ask yourself , 'what the hell is going on here?' at the start. Thats ok. I did too and ended up very pleasantly surprised. Newman is , well, Newman. A one off from my golden era of cinema: The 1970's.
½ July 1, 2013
I am elated that John Huston got the right to direct the film instead of John Milius. Milius's typically violent and every-man-for-himself narration still seeps through Huston's sarcastic vision, with chauvinistic monologues and loosely moralized killings. In his hands it would have been a lesser film, a cliched action film with nothing to offer in the way of characterization and poignancy. But Huston makes the film uproariously funny and Paul Newman's performance is hilarious, all at once self-deprecating and full of blind confidence.
½ July 9, 2012
A hilarious, original film, unapologetic in its moral misguidedness and earnest in its quirkiness, this gem from the twisted sensibilities of John Huston and clever pen of John Milius is propelled by the perfectly cast Paul Newman, who is deeply fascinating in his quiet moments, riotously un-PC in the rest, and brings his innate roguishness to unadulterated life. A film that has to be seen to be believed, with a story that doesn't have to be believed to be loved. Hysterical lines and ludicrous antics mingle with a quiet poignancy to make this one of the most memorable Westerns of the 70s.
April 24, 2012
Directed by John Huston and written by John Milius, this is an offbeat western with a black vein of comedy throughout. It has a spirted lead and an all star supporting cast. A lot of people may forget that Huston directed this film, but it's up there with The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) and The Man Who Would Be King (1975) as one of Huston's best films. Set in the wilds of Texas towards the end of the 19th Century, Roy Bean (Paul Newman) is an outlaw who after a lynching takes vengeance on those who robbed him of what money he had and appoints himself as Judge, and anyone who tries to stand in his way gets either shot or hung, and Bean even acquires himself a pet bear from the passing Grizzly Adams (John Huston), and all the while Bean holds a light for the music hall entertainer Lily Langtry (Ava Gardner). But, things change when lawyer Frank Gass (Roddy McDowall) comes to town claiming that the land Bean rules over is owned by Gass, and years later, things comes to a head when Gass wants to destroy Bean's property to get oil. It's a forgotten western which see's Newman play almost against type, and it's actually one of his better performances, with a cast including Ned Beatty, Anthony Perkins, Tab Hunter, Victoria Principal, Jacqueline Bisset and Stacy Keach, It shows the lighter side of the revisionist western, but it has the fingerprints of New Hollywood all over it.
April 10, 2012
Roy Bean: Historical character (and, boy, was he one!) Movie: Lots of liberties taken, but it sure makes a hell of a good story! A fun movie to enjoy!
December 10, 2011
Recommended by Paul M.
December 2, 2011
review coming soon ...
½ November 3, 2011
Newman is his good ole self, but the film lags in the middle and becomes fairly repetitive.
October 15, 2011
An "American" movie in true sense!
August 30, 2011
Vastly underrated western; a rollicking good time about a thuggish brute of a human being. Perversely goofy!
½ July 28, 2011
this is good, not great.
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