The Sun Shines Bright

Now that  Gone with the Wind  has been taken out of HBO’s lineup for the addition of salubrious context, I commend The Sun Shines Bright, circa nineteen fifty-three–that is, if you’d like to see Hollywood at its most politically incorrect, on one hand, and it’s most heartfelt poignant, on the other. John Ford claimed it was his favorite film, which is saying something. That’s the John Ford of The Searchers , The Man Who Killed Liberty Valence, My Darlin’ Clementine and The Quiet Man. That John Ford. It’s no wonder you’ve never seen it. No one will show it. Anywhere. I found it by chance rummaging through old throw away westerns. It depicts a small town in Kentucky in the 1890’s, still in the grip of the high feelings and loyalties of the Civil War and The Lost Cause, only the combatants are old veterans, who are still espousing their cause, in their Yankee and rebel civic clubs, thirty-five years after the fighting has ended. The stereotyped blacks alone make The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn look like Ta Nehisi Coates. But it’s worth the look, just to see how Hollywood has been transformed.

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