Gregg Toland's inventive outdoor photography is the chief aesthetic interest of this 1940 comic western, which is otherwise marred by the condescending folksiness of William Wyler's direction. Walter Brennan dominates the picture as a demented Judge Roy Bean, nicely bridging wit and menace; Gary Cooper is the nominal hero, a rancher who escapes Bean's clutches by inventing a friendship with the judge's legendary inamorata, Lily Langtry. With Doris Davenport, Fred Stone, and Chill Wills. 100 min.
By Dave Kehr