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The Sun Shines Bright (1953)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Western  |  2 May 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 769 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 11 critic

John Ford weaves three "Judge Priest" stories together to form a good- natured exploration of honour and small-town politics in the South around the turn of the century. Judge William ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (short stories "The Sun Shines Bright", "The Mob from Massac" and "The Lord Provides")
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Title: The Sun Shines Bright (1953)

The Sun Shines Bright (1953) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Winninger ...
Judge William Pittman Priest
Arleen Whelan ...
Lucy Lee Lake
Ashby Corwin
Stepin Fetchit ...
Russell Simpson ...
Dr. Lewt Lake
Ludwig Stössel ...
Herman Felsburg (as Ludwig Stossel)
Francis Ford ...
Feeney (Old Backwoodsman)
Paul Hurst ...
Army Sgt. Jimmy Bagby
Mitchell Lewis ...
Sheriff Andy Redcliffe
Buck Ramsey
Horace K. Maydew
Lucy Lee's Mother
Elzie Emanuel ...
U.S. Grant 'You Ess' Woodford
Henry O'Neill ...
Joe D. Habersham
Sterling, Lanky Backwoodsman


John Ford weaves three "Judge Priest" stories together to form a good- natured exploration of honour and small-town politics in the South around the turn of the century. Judge William Priest is involved variously in revealing the real identity of Lucy Lake, reliving his Civil War memories, preventing the lynching of a youth and contesting the elections with Yankee Horace K. Maydew. Written by Bernard Keane <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HER NAME WAS SHAME!..She got off the freight boat in the dead of night...walked down Main Street with those bold-brazen eyes...and the town was never the same again! (original print ad) See more »


Comedy | Drama | Western


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

2 May 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le soleil brille pour tout le monde  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (video) | (original theatrical)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"The Sun Shines Bright" is a sequel to John Ford's 1934 "Judge Priest," with Charles Winninger replacing Will Rogers as Judge Billy Priest and Stepin Fetchit reprising his role as Jeff Poindexter. Stepin Fetchit's film career essentially ended with this movie, until he briefly came out of retirement 19 years later. See more »


[the prayer he says at the funeral of Lucy Lee's mother]
Ashby Corwin: Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, / look upon a little child. / Pity her simplicity; / suffer her to come to thee. / Amen.
See more »


Version of Judge Priest (1934) See more »


Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett
See more »

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User Reviews

My all-time favourite movie!
14 April 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

'The Sun Shines Bright' is my all-time favourite movie and, though it is now more than 50 years old, there is not one better that has been made since. I first saw it on BBC TV way back and, having taped it for my own use, I never tire of it. The plot, based on stories by Irvin S. Cobb, is beautifully acted out, especially by Charles Winninger as Judge Billy Priest. The evolving drama is most moving. The post-Civil War period setting and atmosphere are perfectly caught by the greatest of all movie directors, John Ford, and the 'moral' (an apparently out-dated word, but still as relevant today as in the 1950s when the movie was made) of this splendid entertainment is still worth marking, learning and inwardly digesting. If Kentucky is still as it is pictured, even if in black-and-white, may I please move there right now?!

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