The notoriously difficult to please John Ford regarded The Sun Shines Bright as his favourite film. Based on material from Irvin S. Cobb’s “Judge Priest” short stories, Ford had previously directed the 1934 film Judge Priest starring Will Rogers, but was unsatisfied with the handling of the film by 20th Century Fox – specifically their decision to cut a vital scene depicting the main character condemning an attempted lynching. Two decades later he chose to revisit the material for Republic Pictures, and the result was yet another masterpiece from the great director.
Set in 1905 Kentucky, Judge Priest (Charles Winninger) is fighting for reelection against a Yankee prosecutor (Milburn Stone). Despite the Judge’s popularity, his generosity and sense of justice may cost him the election.
The Sun Shines Bright almost shared a similar fate as Judge Priest, with ten minutes of footage being removed by Republic Pictures. Fortunately the original uncut master was not destroyed, and has now been fully restored and makes its UK debut on Blu-ray as part of the Masters of Cinema series.
1080p presentation on Blu-ray
Optional English SDH Subtitles
Brand new audio commentary by film historian Joseph McBride (author of Searching for John Ford)
New video essay by Tag Gallagher (author of John Ford: Himself and His Movies)
A collector’s booklet featuring a reprint of Judge Priest short story The Lord Provides; a new essay by James Oliver; and an essay by Jonathan Rosenbaum