The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean

Synopsis: A no account outlaw establishes his own particular brand of law and order and builds a town on the edges of civilization in this farcical western. With the aid of an old law text and unpredictable notions Roy Bean distinguishes between lawbreakers and lawgivers by way of his pistols.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director(s): John Huston
Production: Warner Home Video
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
120 min


Shut the door, squirrel.


How are you?

Bean. Roy Bean.

Maybe you heard of me.

My picture's on the wall.

On the other side of that wall over there.


robbed the Granger's Trust

down in Magdalena.

That's no easy pickings.

Bonanza Stud

had his left hand shot half away...

and I picked two pellets

of crude-iron buckshot...

out of my ankle.

I always heard that a man on the dodge

is welcome west of the Pecos.

Maybe I heard wrong.

You heard right.

"Revised Laws and Statutes

of the State of Texas. "

What's that doing here?

For the whores to piss on.

Give him a drink of cactus whiskey.

You a bank robber?

You get much out of that Magdalena one?



That's right, enough.

Buy me a drink, bank robber?

Listen, when Roy Bean drinks,

everybody drinks.

Give me the money.

Let me get some of that.

I want some of that money!

- Get off him.

- Get him strung.

Yeah, that's right.

Here! Tie it!



Come back here, you son of a b*tch!

Kill him! Shoot him!

I'm going to get Marvin.

Come on back here!

I ain't through killing you!

You hear me?

All of your kind, I'll be waiting!

The first time I saw Roy Bean...

he was set on killing me.

Thought I was the Devil, come to take him.

It was an understandable thought,

considering all the carnage...

that he had so recently brought forth.

I'm the Reverend Mr. LaSalle.

"Though I walk in the valley

of the shadow...

"I fear not. "

What has happened here?

These men tried to hang me,

and they have been killed for it.

How many of them are there?

A lot of them.

- Who did the killing?

- I did.

They were bad men,

and the whores weren't ladies.

"Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. "

It was.

I'm waiting for the buzzards.

They don't deserve burying.

Maybe they don't...

but they ought to be.

They are a stench and an abomination.

I've got a shovel if you don't.

I buried them

because Christ had died for all of them.

It was his choice, not mine.

I am not one to question the wisdom

of the Almighty.

Get my Bible.

It is in the saddlebag.

I will read over the dead now.

My Bible, please, Mr...


- Bean.

- Roy Bean.

Judge Roy Bean.

I am the new law in this area.

- What has qualified you as such?

- I know the law...

since I have spent my entire life

in its flagrant disregard.

I had never killed a man before.

I'd shot at some...

in self-defense or blind fright,

but I never hit anyone.

So God must have directed my bullets.

Why, he even sent an angel...

to deliver this weapon.

Just how do you intend

to dispense this law?

With this. And a rope.

And will you rely again

on the grace of God?

I intend to practice...

and give him some help.

Get on with the reading.

I've turned to the Book of Psalms...

and I will read from Psalm number 58...

which I deem to be appropriate.

"Let their teeth be broken...

"and blunted in their mouths...

"the great teeth of the young lions.

"... he shall take them away

as with a whirlwind...

"both living, and in his wrath.

"The righteous shall rejoice

when he seeth the vengeance...

"he shall wash his feet

in the blood of the wicked.

"So that a man shall say...

"Verily, there is a reward

for the righteous...

"verily, he is a God

that judgeth in the earth. "

What of them?

How do they fit

into your scheme of justice?

The law is going to protect them.

It says that somewhere in here.

Where is she?

Who? The angel?

If ever there was one.

Dnde est la muchacha?

Traigala aqu.

Does she speak American?

What is your name, seorita?

How are you called?

Marie Elena.

Marie Elena...

I want to thank you for what you done,

is what I want to do.

Maybe you can explain

to these people here...

that I mean them no harm.

Tell them it's going to be a new place.

It's going to be a nice place to live.

I'm the new judge.

There will be law.

There's going to be order,

progress, civilization, peace.

Above all, peace.

And I don't care who I have to kill to get it.

Go on. You tell them that.

Tell them the horses

that belonged to them vermin are theirs.

Their guns.

The land.

Just that place...

That place there, that's mine.

They do not want the horses.

They will take the horses.

They do not want the land.

They are grateful.

They do not need the guns.

You are their patrn.

You mean I own everything

if I do all the getting shot at.

It is an old and fair arrangement.

And somewhat shrewd, I might add.

That brothel there...

it will be my courthouse.

Place to deal out justice,

place to get shot at...

and shoot and hang others from.

That's what it is.

I intend to live there, regardless.

What is it, my child?

I will live there, too.

She will what?

- You don't want me to live there.

- No, I don't.

Not yet, anyway.

Don't you have parents or the like?

Perhaps she could live in that little shack

off to the side.

Perhaps you could live in that little shack

off to the side.

"Blessed is the Lord thy strength,

which teaches thy hand to war...

"and thy fingers to fight. "

I shall pray for you, Bean.

This land abounds

in ruffians and varmints.

Their numbers are legion,

their evil skills commensurate.

Piss on them.

That was the first and last time

I saw Judge Roy Bean.

I never got back to that country,

and died of dysentery in old Mexico.

I haven't seen him since,

so he probably went to Hell.

Lillie Langtry.

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John Milius

John Frederick Milius is an American screenwriter, director, and producer of motion pictures. He was one of the writers for the first two Dirty Harry films, received an Academy Award nomination as ... more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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