The Westerner

Synopsis: Cole Harden just doesn't look like a horse thief, Jane-Ellen Matthews tells Judge Roy Bean as she steps up to the bar. Cole says he can't take it with him as he empties all of his coins on the bar to buy drinks for the jury. He notices two big pictures of Lily Langtry behind the bar. Sure, Cole has met the Jersey Lily, whom the hanging judge adores, even has a lock of her hair. Hanging is delayed for two weeks, giving Cole time to get in the middle of a range war between cattlemen and homesteaders and to still be around when Lily Langtry, former mistress of Edward VII who became an international actress, arrives in Texas.
Director(s): William Wyler
Production: MGM
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
100 min

Hey, wire.

Wire. They've

drawn a fence across there.

Them plow-pushers must have

put it up there last night.

Give me them wire cutters.

I'll fix this.

Cow herders!

Hey, cornhuskers!

Shad Wilkins, you've

been tried and found guilty

of the most serious crime west of the Pecos,

to wit, shooting a steer.

Got anything to say for yourself before

the sentence of the court is executed?

I told you they shot at me first!

I didn't mean to kill that steer on purpose!

I was aiming at the man.

It's your bad luck you missed him.

That's the trouble with you sodbusters,

you can't shoot straight.


may the Lord have mercy on your soul. Hey!

Buck, I want to see you.

Well, how's the hanging, there?

Well, his neck

didn't hardly stretch a foot.

Here's to the greatest woman in the world,

the fairest flower that ever bloomed,

- Lily Langtry.

- Miss Langtry.

Hold it, boys.

Did you hear the toast, stranger?

To Lily Langtry? I thought

you meant your friends.

I didn't know that included me.

That includes every man

that drinks at my bar.

Glad to join you. Have

you ever met Miss Langtry?

No, I never met her. I never met the

sun, I never shook hands with the moon,

and I've never been introduced to no clouds.

That's all right. Too bad Lily

Langtry couldn't have heard that.

Did you ever see her?

No, I was in England once,

but didn't get around to it.

Oh, you was in England once,

and you could have seen her,

- but you never got around to it, eh?

- Yeah.

- Get out of my bar.

- Huh?

Get out of my bar!

- To the Jersey Lily.

Miss Langtry.

Here's how.

All right, Mort, if Shad's

good and cold, you can have him.

$4, that's all he had. I'll make

it up to you on the next one.

Get off.

- What you got there?

- A horse thief, Judge.

Prisoner of the bar.

- Get in there.

Chickenfoot, the law.

Hear ye, hear ye, court

of Vinegarroon is now in session.

What's the charge?

We caught him on Chickenfoot's

horse that was stole last week.

- My horse Pete? Where's he at?

- Right outside.

Well, so it is. Pete.

No, Your Honor. I was just

trying to get the lay of the land.

- You will, too, at the end of a rope.

Southeast, no anticipating.

Hey, Judge! Judge, that is my old

sabino pony. He's tied right out there.

People of Vinegarroon again...

You can use any name you like.

Cole Harden.

What are

you doing in Vinegarroon?

- Oh, just passing through.

- Homesteader?

- No.

Where do you hail from?

- No place in particular.

Where are you heading for?

- No place special.

- Oh, saddle bum, huh?

Well, it's all right to live on

a horse if it's your own horse.

Bart, turn loose the prisoner's

hands. Chickenfoot, swear him in.

Do you swear to

tell the truth... So help you?

Take off your hat!

Well, now, I'll tell you, son...

Are you Bean?

- Judge Roy W. Bean.

- My name's Jane Ellen Mathews.

Yes, Miss Mathews, what can I do for you?

- What have you done with Shad Wilkins?

- Shad Wilkins?

He was working in the fields

when some of your wranglers

came up and took him away.

Shad Wilkins. Shad Wilkins.

Oh, yeah, he was hanging around out there

a while back, but he ain't around now.

Your men not only took him away,

but they tore down the fence.

Not a stick of it was left standing.

That so?

Yes, that's so, and you needn't

pretend you don't know about it.

Well, it don't surprise me none.

It's against the law to

build fences hereabouts.

- What law? Whose law?

- Mine.

- Now, you listen to me, Mr. Bean.

- Judge Bean.

You're no more a judge than I

am. Just call yourself a judge.

I wouldn't say that if I was you. I

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Jo Swerling

Jo Swerling (April 8, 1897 – October 23, 1964) was an American theatre writer, lyricist and screenwriter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Westerner" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 3 Dec. 2021. <>.

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