Will Rogers stars in John Ford’s 1934 portrait of life in a small town in the old south, one of the most deeply felt visions of community in the American cinema. Ford’s later partial remake, The Sun Shines Bright, is a masterpiece, but the accomplishments of this version are impressive enough. In some ways, Judge Priest marks the birth of the poet in Ford. By 1931 he had made some 40 features; many of the 60 that followed would rank with the finest works of the medium. With Stepin Fetchit.