A Stranger in Town (April, 1943)

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A Stranger in Town
 

Released in April, 1943: A Supreme Court Justice wants a vacation hunting ducks in the country, but gets involved with corrupt small town officials.

Produced by Robert Sisk

Directed by Roy Rowland

The Actors: Frank Morgan (Justice John Josephus Grant), Richard Carlson (Bill Adams), Jean Rogers (Lucy Gilbert), Porter Hall (Judge Austin Harkley), Robert Barrat (Mayor Connison), Donald MacBride (Vinnie Z. Blaxton), Walter Baldwin (Tom Cooney), Andrew Tombes (Roscoe Swade), Olin Howland (Constable Homer Todds), Chill Wills (Charles Craig), Irving Bacon (Game Warden Orrin Todds), Eddie Dunn (Henry), Gladys Blake (Birdie), John Hodiak (Hart Ridges), Edward Keane (Blaxton's lawyer), Robert Homans (Sergeant), Erville Alderson (man in barbershop), Hooper Atchley (reporter), Margaret Bert (nurse), Eddy Chandler (policeman at hearing), Lester Dorr (electric company technician), Fern Emmett (hotel chambermaid), Sam Finn (sidewalk rowdy), Bud Geary (sidewalk heckler), Jesse Graves (Supreme Court attendant), Kenneth Harlan (banker in barbershop), Myron Healey (extra on dance floor), Holmes Herbert (Supereme Court Justice), Al Hill (moving man), Gladden James (reporter), Richard Kipling (Supreme Court Justice), Paul Kruger (truck driver), William Lally (policeman), Arthur Loft (police chief Perkins), Roger Moore (townsman at hearing), Marion Murray (waitress), Thomas Murray (policeman), Frank O'Connor (bailiff), Pat O'Malley (policeman at jail), Cyril Ring (reporter), Charles Sherlock (rowdy), Edwin Stanley (Supreme Court Justice), Henry Sylvester (Joe, process server), Ben Taggart (train conductor), Minerva Urecal (lady stepping off of train), Philip Van Zandt (reporter), Eddy Waller (man in barbershop), Pierre Watkin (Supreme Court Justice), Joe Yule (barber)

 

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Short-Sheeting the Judge

Power . . . . Some people have it, some people want it, some people steal it, and some people fight for it . . . Some people fight fair, and some do not.

In 1789 Article III of the United States Constitution created a court, a Supreme Court, and the nine Justices of the Supreme Court are the only men and women who serve for life – they cannot ever be removed because someone more powerful doesn’t like their decisions. . . . No one has that much power. We can get rid of Presidents, Senators, Legislators, Governors, Mayors, policemen and dog catchers, but no one in the world can remove a Justice of the Supreme Court because they do not like the decisions that they make. In the scheme of power, they are technically equal to the President and the Congress, as the third equal partner in our amazing system of Federal Government, but their power is unchallenged by anyone. The Justices are selected from the smartest legal minds in the country, and every Justice has legal aides, young lawyers that are themselves among the smartest young lawyers in the nation.

The leaders of the small town of Crownport also have powerful people, including the county judge, the town mayor, the owner of the large car and tractor dealership, and the owner of the town hotel. These people rule over Crownport and make sure that in any dispute they are the winners, and anyone challenging their power will feel the heavy gavel of the law grinding them down. There is a young, idealistic lawyer in town who wants to become the new mayor and bring a bit more mercy into the dealings with the townsfolk, but he isn’t the smartest lawyer in the world, and he regularly loses cases when he tries to defend the rights of lower class citizens towards the businessmen of the town. Unfortunately for many small towns in 1943, and I fear even today, that is not unusual.

Unfortunately for the small town of Crownport, a stranger comes to town on vacation with the hopes of relaxing and doing a bit of duck hunting before he must return to his work. He is an older fellow named Joe, who just wants to relax and hunt some ducks, but before he can fire of the first shot at a flying duck, he is taken to court and fined $100 in a local scheme to con hunters. Then when he pays his fine and strolls over to the barber shop for a shave, the barber doubles the price for the stranger, and the stranger notices. Just another stranger in town . . . . Just another country rube that the town can grab more money from . . . . What power does an old fellow like him have over the town leaders of a corrupt town? . . . .

I guess I should I mention that Joe, the stranger in town, is a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and one of the finest legal minds in the country . . . . Justice John Josephus Grant is a man that knows power, and knows how to use it wisely, and knows how to handle the powers-that-be in Crownport. This is gonna be fun! Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Frank Morgan
Frank Morgan
Jean Rogers
Jean Rogers
Richard Carlson
Richard Carlson
Andrew Tombes, Frank Morgan and Jean Rogers
Andrew Tombes, Frank Morgan and Jean Rogers
Andrew Tombes and Gladys Blake
Andrew Tombes and Gladys Blake
Andrew Tombes, Gladys Blake and Eddie Dunn
Andrew Tombes, Gladys Blake and Eddie Dunn
Andrew Tombes and Gladys Blake
Andrew Tombes and Gladys Blake
Andrew Tombes
Andrew Tombes
Chill Wills and Frank Morgan
Chill Wills and Frank Morgan
Donald MacBride and Richard Carlson
Donald MacBride and Richard Carlson
Donald MacBride
Donald MacBride
Eddie Dunn
Eddie Dunn
Frank Morgan and Andrew Tombes
Frank Morgan and Andrew Tombes
Frank Morgan and Olin Howland
Frank Morgan and Olin Howland
Frank Morgan
Frank Morgan
Gladys Blake
Gladys Blake
Irving Bacon
Irving Bacon
Jean Rogers
Jean Rogers
Jean Rogers and Frank Morgan
Jean Rogers and Frank Morgan
Jean Rogers, Marion Murray and Richard Carlson
Jean Rogers, Marion Murray and Richard Carlson
Jean Rogers in jail
Jean Rogers in jail
Jean Rogers kisses Richard Carlson
Jean Rogers kisses Richard Carlson
Jean Rogers
Jean Rogers
Joe Yule and Frank Morgan
Joe Yule and Frank Morgan
Olin Howland and Frank Morgan
Olin Howland and Frank Morgan
Porter Hall
Porter Hall
Porter Hall and Andrew Tombes
Porter Hall and Andrew Tombes
Porter Hall
Porter Hall
Porter Hall
Porter Hall
Richard Carlson
Richard Carlson
Richard Carlson, Arthur Loft and Robert Barrat
Richard Carlson, Arthur Loft and Robert Barrat
Richard Carlson and Frank Morgan
Richard Carlson and Frank Morgan
Richard Carlson and Jean Rogers
Richard Carlson and Jean Rogers
Richard Carlson dancing with Jean Rogers
Richard Carlson dancing with Jean Rogers
Richard Carlson in jail
Richard Carlson in jail
Richard Carlson and Jean Rogers
Richard Carlson and Jean Rogers
Richard Carlson
Richard Carlson
Richard Carlson
Richard Carlson
Robert Barrat
Robert Barrat
Robert Barrat
Robert Barrat