Film / The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean

A 1972 Western written by John Mikus, directed by John Huston, and starring Paul Newman, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean also marks the film débuts of both Victoria Principal and Steve Kanaly. Also in the cast are Ava Gardner, Jacqueline Bissett, Tab Hunter, Stacy Keach, Roddy McDowall, Anthony Perkins, and Anthony Zerbe.

Outlaw Roy Bean (Newman) rides into a West Texas border town called “Vinegaroon,” only to be beaten, robbed, have a noose tied around him and let Bean’s horse drag him off by the costumers in the saloon. After he's found and helped by a young woman named Maria Elena (Principal), Bean builds a town on the edge of civilization in order to establish his own particular brand of law and order. Appointing himself judge, Bean dispenses justice until time and events pass him by.


  • Creator Cameo: John Huston plays Grizzly Adams.
  • Evil Albino: Bad Bob
  • The Joy of X
  • Tagline: Two of ‘em –
    If this story ain't true . . . it shoulda been
    Maybe This Isn't The Way It Was - It's The Way It Should Have Been!
  • The Wild West
  • Twilight of the Old West: About how law & order comes to the West... and then the corrupt businessmen following afterward...
  • Unrequited Love: Bean's obsessive love for actress Lily Langtry, which proves his undoing as it distracts him from his faithful Maria and provides a chance for the corrupt Gass to takeover the town in Bean's absence.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Aye.
  • Vigilante Man: Roy Bean, after nearly being killed by the inhabitants of a badlands bar and brothel. He follows up by becoming a "judge" and using his courtroom to keep his vigilante justice going.