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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:

JUDGE BILLY PRIEST...the only man who ever called Mallie Crump a Lady (original one-three-and-six sheet posters) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Ford started planning The Sun Shines Bright (1953) in the late 1940s just after he had completed My Darling Clementine (1946). 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

Version of Judge Priest (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here
(uncredited)
Music by Theodore Morse and Arthur Sullivan
See more »

User Reviews

 
A brilliant work of political philosophy
25 March 2003 | by coop-16See all my reviews

I will make an introductory, Autobiographical comment.I am , by training, a Political Theorist and a student of American Institutions.A long time ago, I saw a list of the ten greatest films ever made. The only one I had never heared of was The Sun Shines Bright...Only later did I discover that Ford listed it, with Wagonmaster, as one of his two favorite films. I wrote an essay on Fords "democratic poetics" for a course on Tocqueville(!)In the essay, I analyzed Wagonmaster and the Sun Shines Bright. Wagonmaster(implicitly) and The Sunshines Bright(explicitly)are films about politics, and about democracy. Wagonmaster is ,in fact a pilgrimage narrative, while The Sunshines Bright takes place in a "polis", the tiny Kentucky town of Fairfield,during an election.The whole story is, in fact, a meditation on democracy, leadership, compassion and tradition.Charles Winninger is superb. The Prostitutes funeral,with its closing scene in the church,where Priest quotes the Bible, is simply grand.The parade at the end is very touching, and the final shot of the lonely, but beloved Priest walking alone into his house, is almost equal to the end of The Searchers....Ford was indeed the grand lion of the cinema.


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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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