Archive for February 8th, 2012

By Peter Lenihan

A quick note: the original cut of The Sun Shines Bright was 100 minutes. The bigwigs at Republic Pictures cut it by ten, and I’ve only seen the ninety minute version. I suspect the missing ten minutes clarify some plot points that remain a bit ambiguous, although it’s still a masterpiece as it stands. The 100 minute version is not, as far as I’m aware, lost, and the longer cut was released theatrically in Europe. Unfortunately, like so many Republic westerns, a decent DVD of it is hard to come by, and unless a boutique label decides to mount a full-on restoration, this is probably the cut we’re stuck with (which, of course, isn’t the biggest complaint in the world).

Ten minutes don’t go by in The Sun Shines Bright without mention of the Civil War (or, as Judge Priest and his Dixie friends more likely put it, the War Between the States)—a ghost at the door, like the dead chaplain from Shiloh trying to join the veterans’ get-together. Much of what this is, then, is Fordian mythology moving beyond Ford, the history that haunts the land of Kentucky and Virginia and Kansas coming to inhabit the plastic fibers of the film, and so long as men, women and children continue to visit Gettysburg and Manassas annually, carrying rifles and dressed in blue and grey, The Sun Shines Bright will differentiate itself considerably from Ford’s other “old man movies”. For while She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance are haunted by personal histories—Captain Brittles’ long dead wife, Doniphon’s not-quite-secret love for Hallie—here a national ghost is foregrounded, and perhaps not even Priest considers that long after the last of the conflict’s participants have died, the ghost of this war will linger. (more…)

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The Maltese Falcon [1931]
THE 1931 Version Of “THE MALTESE FALCON” Was Screened at Noir City On January 29, 2012 at 1:20pm with a running time Of 80 Minutes…and was also released by Warner Bros.

According To Noir City,
“No, not the Bogart version, but the original—made the year after Hammett’s landmark novel was published. This pre-Code adaptation flaunts a much sexier tone than John Huston’s more famous 1941 version.
Some Hammett fans even prefer it. Ricardo Cortez and Bebe Daniels star as Spade and Brigid.

The Maltese Falcon [1931]
Screenplay by Maude Fulton & Brown Holmes, from the Hammett novel. Directed by Roy Del Ruth.”


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