Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


ARKANSAS JUDGE (1941). Director: Frank McDonald.

Tom Martel (Roy Rogers, who is not the star but heads the supporting cast) comes back to Peaceful Valley, Arkansas where two women are waiting for him: "Nice girl" Maggie (Pauline Moore), daughter of the judge, and the much sexier Hettie (Veda Ann Borg of Jungle Raiders). However, there's bigger trouble when old Widow Smithers (Elly Malyon) insists that $50 was stolen from her flour barrel by Mary Shoemaker (Spring Byington of On Their Own), who does cleaning for all the ladies in town. Before long the whole community is torn apart, and Hettie's father, August (Frank M. Thomas), who heads the church council, wants everyone to shun Mary but has suspicions about his own daughter. In the meantime Tom and Hettie grow closer, much to Maggie's consternation. The members of Maggie's family are played by Leon, Frank and June Weaver, who had formed a hillbilly singing group called "The Weaver Brothers and Elviry." As Cicero, Frank just whistles a la Harpo Marx. Minerva Urecal has a small role as one of the town biddies. Arkansas Judge is a good comedy-drama with pleasant songs, good performances, and an unpredictable story line. And Roy! Pauline Moore appeared in three Charlie Chan movies, the best of which is Charlie Chan at Treasure Island.

Verdict: Nice picture. ***.

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