Kent, the unscrupulous boss of Bottleneck has Sheriff Keogh killed when he asks one too many questions about a rigged poker game that gives Kent a stranglehold over the local cattle rangers... See full summary »
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Kent, the unscrupulous boss of Bottleneck has Sheriff Keogh killed when he asks one too many questions about a rigged poker game that gives Kent a stranglehold over the local cattle rangers. The mayor, who is in cahoots with Kent appoints the town drunk, Washington Dimsdale, as the new sheriff assuming that he'll be easy to control. But what the mayor doesn't know is that Dimsdale was a deputy under famous lawman, Tom Destry, and is able to call upon the equally formidable Tom Destry Jr to be his deputy. Featuring a career reviving performance from Marlene Dietrich as bar singer Frenchie, which could well have been the inspiration for Madeline Kahn's "Blazing Saddles" character, Lili Von Schtupp. Written by
Mark Thompson <email@example.com>
The role of Tom Destry was originally intended for Gary Cooper, but he wanted more money than the producers were willing to pay him. It was then offered to James Stewart, who took it. See more »
When Destry first demonstrates his ability with a firearm by shooting at the knobs on the sign, he shoots a total of seven times. Although he is holding two Colt "Six-shooters", one in each hand, he fires only the pistol he holds in his right hand. Thus, he fired one round more than the gun could hold. See more »
I collect Deputy Sheriff's guns. Whenever I meet a new deputy, I ask him for his gun and I ask him real nice.
Tom Destry Jr.:
I'm sorry, Mr. Kent. I'm afraid this here's one gun your collection's going to be minus.
You mean I'm going to have to take it?
Tom Destry Jr.:
If you can. Now, hold on! Hold on. Don't get excited here. I'm just tryin' to tell you that I ain't got any guns. You see if I woulda had a gun then, why, one of us might have been hurt and it might be me. I wouldn't want that to happen... would I?
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`Howdy, Stranger! Let me show you around the town of Bottleneck. Folks here can be plumb rowdy on occasion. Over there's the saloon - it's run by a right pretty gal named Frenchy (Marlene Dietrich). She's a real spitfire - don't get her riled. We like to say she runs the town, but we all know the real boss is her lover, Kent (Brian Donlevy), a mean, slick hombre who's buying -or stealing- all the land straight across the valley; he means to charge for each head of cattle run through here. Our last sheriff (Joe King) disappeared real mysterious like, and the mayor (Samuel S. Hinds), who's in cahoots with Kent, appointed the town drunk (Charles Winninger) as the new sheriff. He's surprised us all by bringing in as his deputy Tom Destry (James Stewart), son of the famous lawman who was shot in the back a few years ago. The boy looks kind of sheepish, but I'll bet he's got some backbone to him, just like his old man. Yes, sir, if Kent gives him any trouble we just might get to watch while DESTRY RIDES AGAIN.'
This is one of the great Western films, with all the pieces falling into place. It's got a sense of humor & does not take itself too seriously. And the women are as strong as the men, unusual in a Western: Dietrich & Una Merkel have the best fight in the film and it's the entire body of townswomen, lead by Merkel & Dietrich, who take matters into their own hands at the conclusion to thrash the bad guys.
All of the above named cast is excellent (this was considered a comeback of sorts for Dietrich, after her parade of elaborate, but not terribly popular, costume epics; Stewart is a delight as his usual laconic self.) Jack Carson is also on hand as a tough cattleman. Lighter moments are handled by Mischa Auer, as a Russian émigré who wants to be a cowboy, and Billy Gilbert, as a temperamental barkeep.
Dietrich gets to sing three splashy, dance hall numbers: `Little Joe', `You've Got That Look' and, most famously, `See What The Boys In The Back Room Will Have'.
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