7.0/10
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22 user 14 critic

The Sun Shines Bright (1953)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Western | 2 May 1953 (USA)
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 »

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Laurence Stallings (screenplay), Irvin S. Cobb (short stories "The Sun Shines Bright", "The Mob from Massac" and "The Lord Provides")
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Winninger ... Judge William Pittman Priest
Arleen Whelan ... Lucy Lee Lake
John Russell ... Ashby Corwin
Stepin Fetchit ... Jeff Poindexter
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
Grant Withers ... Buck Ramsey
Milburn Stone ... Horace K. Maydew
Dorothy Jordan ... Lucy Lee's Mother
Elzie Emanuel ... U.S. Grant 'You Ess' Woodford
Henry O'Neill ... Joe D. Habersham
Slim Pickens ... Sterling - Lanky Backwoodsman
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Another triumph of entertainment comes your way in John Ford's magical story of an American River-Town, and all its secrets! (original print-ad) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Ford had originally adapted some of Irvin S. Cobb's short stories in his film, Judge Priest (1934), but had been frustrated at 20th Century Fox's insistence on removing a lynching scene. This reworking of Cobb's stories was Ford's attempt to redress that balance. See more »

Quotes

[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.
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Alternate Versions

Three known versions exist: a 90, 92, and 100 minute version. When originally prepared the film ran 100 minutes, which the studio forced Ford to cut to 92 minutes. When the film did poorly it was cut by another two minutes. The 90 minute cut became the standard TV print. The 100 minute cut was accidentally discovered after preparing a video print. The print given to Republic Video was Ford's personal copy, which had never been publicly viewed. Thus the main print in circulation is the 100 minute "director's cut". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Becoming John Ford (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

My Old Kentucky Home
(uncredited)
Music by Stephen Foster
Arranged by Jester Hairston
See more »

User Reviews

 
Liberal, Dixie judge takes a principled stand against small town hypocrisy in turn of the century Kentucky
29 January 2008 | by fisherelleSee all my reviews

One of the odd aspects of this film is the post Civil War background that looms large to a greater or lesser degree throughout. This takes the form of a blatantly obvious pro Confederate stance, and an almost religious idolatry of 'Dixie'. Halliwell tells us that Judge Priest, the moral heart of the film, "has trouble quelling the Confederate spirit" - but the opposite is the case - the judge is absolutely central to maintaining and celebrating that spirit. The oddness comes because, it seems to me at least, we are not used to seeing such a character defending black rights, preventing a lynching, etc. Even more peculiar is to see such a 'happy' black population - particularly the quite disturbing courthouse scene where 2 black characters suddenly burst into a grotesque song and dance routine. "Mississippi Burning" this certainly isn't! But certainly a film worth watching, and the prostitute's daughter's funeral scene is excellently done. It somehow feels older than 1953.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

2 May 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sun Shines Bright See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Argosy Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video) | (original theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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