A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Sun Shines Bright -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    John Ford's The Sun Shines Bright, is an "interesting" film.

    As a 1953 release, it was on the cusp of movements toward real racial equality, but in many ways it plays like the re-make of the 1934 Will Rogers film, Judge Priest, which it basically is, down to the inclusion of Stepin Fetchit, a slow-moving "yowsah-speaking," intelligent black actor, whose career went back to 1925, literally the dark ages, when it came to racial propriety.

    While I don't want to ponder on Mr. Fetchit, who was a superb comedic actor (real name Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry, born in Key West Florida. I'm going to quote here from iMDB:

    "Stepin Fetchit was an evolution of a later construction, the "coon" who undermined his white oppressors by denying his labor and cooperation through an act of defiance that included the appearance of being lazy and stupid. Essential to the "coon" persona was talking in what to white ears is gibberish (which Perry excelled at), but which to black folk can be understood and contains barbed insults to "The Man." What rankles so badly (since the Coon remains a stereotype that resonates in African-American culture) is that white audiences swallowed Perry's Stepin Fetchit act whole, as a true representation of a "Negro.""

    And this is the single point, as much as I love the works of Mr. Ford, which gives me consummate discomfort about this film. It's the same feeling that I had, when referencing Technicolor's original cutting continuity to Jesse James (1939), which (apparently not knowing his name) referred to actor Ernest Whitman in shorthand as "darky." That's the kind of thing, even in historical perspective, that make the hair on the back of my head stand at attention.

    1953!

    That aside, Olive's new Blu-ray via Paramount, is a nice affair. I find it a bit overly-grainy -- I have no idea what's going on, but the grain is right in one's face, and needn't be.

    Gray scale is quite nice. Black levels fine. All in all, a very nice outing for a new Blu-ray.

    Mr. Ford, whether joking or not, commented that this was one of his favorites in his pantheon of works. He directed over 2500 films over a 90 year span.

    What's important is that we now have one more late Ford production, and generally speaking the Blu-ray is a treasure. I'll not mention the need for a bit of digital clean-up.

    Image - 4

    Audio - 4.5

    Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. t1g3r5fan

    t1g3r5fan Stunt Coordinator

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    Can you confirm that the Blu-ray is the 100 minute version prepared by Ford? Or is it the 90 minute theatrical release?
     
  3. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    Great news. I think Ford was serious about his love for this film. As much as he loved Will Rogers, I think he also appreciated having an actor play Judge Priest that he could direct.
     
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    The cover art lists the running time of the film at 101 minutes.

    I watched this film shortly after its release. I made the following post in the Olive Film Discussion thread back on June 2nd:
     
  5. t1g3r5fan

    t1g3r5fan Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay that clears up a lot. Thank you very much.
     

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