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 »
When the government agency fails to deliver even the meager supplies due by treaty to the proud Cheyenne tribe in their barren desert reserve, the starving Indians have taken more abuse ... See full summary »
A Union Cavalry outfit is sent behind confederate lines in strength to destroy a rail/supply center. Along with them is sent a doctor who causes instant antipathy between him and the ... See full summary »
"Docudrama" about the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 and its results, the recovering of the ships, the improving of defense in Hawaii and the US efforts to beat back the ... See full summary »
Level headed Mike Miller runs Desert Airport, an air mail base full of daring young pilots risking their lives to get the mail through-regardless of the weather. Following the death of one ... See full summary »
Victor Marswell runs a big game trapping company in Kenya. Eloise Kelly is ditched there, and an immediate attraction happens between them. Then Mr. and Mrs. Nordley show up for their ... See full summary »
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 <BKeane2@email.dot.gov.au>
"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]
Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, / look upon a little child. / Pity her simplicity; / suffer her to come to thee. / Amen.
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Ford's own personal favourite - and a masterpiece.
A masterpiece and reputedly John Ford's personal favourite from among his own movies. The sentimentality quotient is unnaturally high, even by Ford's standards and the racial stereotypes are appalling but this is still one of the cinema's greatest pieces of folk-art. It speaks of an American South about as realistic as the Ireland of "The Quiet Man" or "The Rising of the Moon", (another great, under-rated Ford film), where the old guard still cling to memories of a hopelessly romantic past, where blacks are treated 'honourably', even if their sole purpose is to play the banjo and the harmonica and in the name of the eponymous actor to 'Stepin Fetchit'.
By today's standards the film is anything but PC but it has an innocence that transcends its stereotypes and Ford handles the set pieces magnificently. In particular, the funeral of the 'fallen woman', (and mother of the heroine), that ends the film is deeply moving and is among the high points of Ford's work. The film itself is a remake of Ford's earlier "Judge Priest" with Charles Winninger in the role made famous by Will Rogers, but this is altogether superior.
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