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|Index||54 reviews in total|
47 out of 52 people found the following review useful:
Clean and scrappy..., 3 June 2005
Author: ironside (email@example.com) from Mexico
It is true that there are parody elements in George Marshall's
delightful "Destry Rides Again" but the real humor lies not so much in
these sorts of antics, nor the heavily laid on inquiries of Marlene
Dietrich as to the tastes of the backroom boys, but rather in James
Stewart's no-gun Destry characterization
This springs from the same source as Ford's 'characters', recognizable frontier independent-minded eccentrics, with a firm footing in American literature; characters often with a roundabout way of making a point, or pointing a moral, as with Destry's habit of prefacing each little cautionary parable with: 'I knew a fellow once who ' A habit that inevitably drew the aggrieved riposte: 'You know too many fellows, Destry '
The other 'characters' in this film have more than a color or two of parodyMischa Auer's improbable Slavonic cowboy, Charles Winninger's town drunk, Brian Donlevy, unprincipled boss, and Samuel S. Hinds' nicely played judge
In retrospect, it's odd how much this movie gains from its rather touching little postscript Stewart, the unconventional lawman, having pacified his cowtown, strolls the streets with a hero-worshiping lad at his heels, and yet also takes a little cloud of sadness along with him
Marshall's film is considered a classic Western which manages to encompass suspense, comedy, romance, tenderness, vivid characterization, horseplay, songs and standard western excitements, without moving for more than a moment from a studio main street set Hollywood expertise at its very best...
37 out of 44 people found the following review useful:
Absolutely cracking Western spoof with great performances from Stewart and Dietrich, 5 October 2002
Author: gaityr from United Kingdom
DESTRY RIDES AGAIN is set in the hopelessly corrupt little town of
Bottleneck, presided over as it is by the ruthless land-grabber and card
shark Kent (Brian Donlevy) and his sexy partner-in-crime Frenchy (Marlene
Dietrich). Sheriffs don't last long in this town, particularly since Mayor
Slade (Samuel S. Hinds) is in cahoots with Kent and his flock of flunkies.
After doing away with Sheriff Keyhole, Slade appoints the hapless town
drunk, Washington Dimsdale (Charles Winninger), to be the new Sheriff.
'Wash' cleans up his act and hopes to re-enact the past glory he had under
his boss Sheriff Destry, by calling in Destry's son Tom (James Stewart) to
be his deputy. To his horror, Tom is a mild-mannered kind of guy, tall and
gangling but with a tendency to lapse into little stories of people he
knows. Even worse, Tom has an aversion to guns (his father having been shot
in the back in spite of being well-known for going about guns a-blazing) and
takes out his frustrations by carving, of all things, napkin rings. It
doesn't seem likely that 'Wash' is going to clean up Bottleneck with a
deputy like Tom, but clean it up they will, with the aid of Frenchy, who
falls quickly for Tom, and henpecked comic wannabe cowboy Boris (Mischa
Auer) who is appointed second deputy.
The film is truly a great ride from beginning to end, thoroughly engaging, funny, and yet touching as well. You're never quite sure what to expect, but whatever it is, you're never disappointed. First of all, you don't get stock characters--Tom Destry is as atypical a Western hero as you can get, as he wanders down the streets of Bottleneck carving napkin rings and using charm instead of guns (most of the time!) to get things done his way. Secondly, as can be expected from a hero who doesn't believe in guns, there aren't all that many scenes of gunplay. Oh sure, there's a pretty cool shoot-out at the end, but that's quickly foiled by Frenchy's clever marshalling of the women of Bottleneck, and you get the impression from the film that stock action scenes with plenty of guns and bodies falling from incredible heights just aren't the point of DESTRY RIDES AGAIN, and that's a point in its favour. Finally, there isn't a pat Hollywood ending either. There's a happy ending, of course, but it's bittersweet. I was fully expecting Frenchy and Tom to get together at the very end, cue fadeout etc. etc. They *do* get together, that goes without saying. But again, this occurs in a way that one simply doesn't expect (right until it actually happens). This film always keeps you guessing, but also continually entertained.
You really couldn't get a better or more appropriate cast than this one too... of the supporting cast, Charles Winninger plays his bumbling, half-drunk but principled character of Town Drunk/Sheriff Dimsdale perfectly. Mischa Auer, as well, is endearing as Boris, from when he loses his pants to Frenchy on a bet, through to his determination to be a great second deputy sheriff in exchange for Tom Destry's extra pants. But the two leads are fabulous as well: the top-billed Marlene Dietrich is sultry, sexy but also cute, and performs some great numbers in the saloon (the best of which would be 'The Boys In The Back Room', but the opener 'Little Joe' would be a close runner-up). Still, the one thing Dietrich will be remembered for from this film, and with good cause, is *that* bar-room catfight with Una Merkel (who plays Lily Belle). Catty, vicious and absolutely hilarious, Dietrich really goes all out in a slap-down knock-out fight with Merkel, then proceeds to throw everything imaginable in Stewart's direction with such fire and enthusiasm that you can't help laughing at and loving her at the same time.
Speaking of Stewart--he gives a fantastic performance in the role of Thomas Jefferson Destry. His laidback way of ambling across the screen, his slow assured drawl, his expressive face all combine together to bring Destry to life. It isn't any actor who can pull off the apparent humiliation Stewart's character must face, such as descending from his carriage to face the folk of Bottleneck for the first time carrying a canary cage and a parasol over his head. But just as he pulls off the comedic scenes, his dramatic scenes are effective as well, particularly his final scenes with both Washington and Frenchy. Most importantly, you can believe that Tom is a good-natured charmer, as he's meant to be, but not a simple-minded dolt.
DESTRY RIDES AGAIN isn't just an absolutely cracking Western (from its bar-room brawls and sassy ladies right down to its grand shootout finale)--it's also a sly, tongue-in-cheek homage to and spoof of the entire genre and its stock of characters, from the roguish ne'er-do-well (Kent) to the bumbling sheriff (Washington Dimsdale). It's a feel-good film with romance, comedy and action blended into a Western setting, and is most certainly one of the best films of the 1930s, and one of the best I've ever seen. A classic!
38 out of 47 people found the following review useful:
A Classic Western in Old Bottleneck, 22 April 2000
Author: Ron Oliver (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Forest Ranch, CA
`Howdy, Stranger! Let me show you around the town of
Bottleneck. Folks here can be plumb rowdy on occasion.
there's the saloon - it's run by a right pretty gal named
(Marlene Dietrich). She's a real spitfire - don't get her riled.
like to say she runs the town, but we all know the real boss
her lover, Kent (Brian Donlevy), a mean, slick hombre who's
buying -or stealing- all the land straight across the valley;
means to charge for each head of cattle run through here.
last sheriff (Joe King) disappeared real mysterious like, and
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
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
his old man. Yes, sir, if Kent gives him any trouble we
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'.
42 out of 57 people found the following review useful:
Movies just don't get any better, 29 June 2003
Author: olds2347 from Dacula Georgia
This movies had three strikes against it at Oscar time. 1)It was made in 1939 arguably the single year when more great films came out than any other year, 2) It was a western(no western had won best picture since "Cimaron" and would not again until "Dances With Wolves"and 3) It was a comedy and movie fans know how well comedy movies do at Oscar time. I know people who simply will not watch a black and white film or an old movie. Well, in my opinion, this movie has a story that is thoroughly enjoyable and stands up well even today. It has an excellent cast not only in the lead roles but also in the supporting cast. So, anyone who might not watch this film because it is not color is cheating themselves of an enjoyable film. And for any who just don't watch a film just because it is old, may I suggest that if you haven't seen a movie it is new for you. As for myself, I just did not endorse this film, but I put my money where my mouth is and forked over the greenbacks not once but twice. I got the film on VHS, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Upon finding it newly released on DVD, I got it again. The picture quality in the DVD is great. I'm a little surprised that there were no special feature extras included since these kind of bonuses are so common with DVD releases. But I suppose that would be like criticising a painting because of a lack of a fancy frame. This film certainly deserved to sweep the Oscars, and probably would have in a different year. 'Nuff sed.
21 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
Pure gold from the golden age, 19 February 2004
Quite simply one of the best Hollywood Studio movies ever made. A pure delight from start to finish with every H'wd cliche lovingly brought indelibly to life and light. Stewart is superb, the cast of character actors delightful - especially Billy Gilbert, Charles Winninger, Samuel Hinds, and Mischa Auer. And the deliciously wicked Dietrich as Frenchy - is as good as it gets in Hollywood. Strong story points, snappy dialogue, good production, genuinely touching moments, great songs, the best fight scene in pictures (between the dames), and an endearing concept of brains (or brave intentions) over brawn. But the palm d'or goes to the fast paced direction of George Marshall for making a film which never fails its clear-eyed material.
19 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
No Promiscuous Shooting In Bottleneck, 21 August 2006
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
1939 that celebrated high point of the Hollywood studio system turned
out to be the break out year for James Stewart. His career kicked into
high gear with Destry Ridges Again and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
From just a good leading man these films guaranteed Jimmy Stewart
Destry was equally an important film for Marlene Dietrich. Her career had come to a standstill and she had been let go from her original American studio, Paramount. A whole lot of people said she was through in Hollywood, but Marlene showed them all.
This is the second film adaption of the story, a 1932 version was done by Tom Mix, one of his last films and one of his few sound ones. This one however is THE standard version.
Destry Rides Again was directed by George Marshall who was very good at mixing humor and drama to make some great films. This one is probably Marshall's greatest. Among Hollywood directors from the studio age, he is sadly forgotten.
The town of Bottleneck is one rip roaring place with a whole lot of promiscuous shooting going on. It's a pretty corrupt place run by saloon owner Brian Donlevy and his stooge mayor Samuel S. Hinds. When the sheriff is killed they 'elect' the town drunk Charles Winninger as the new sheriff.
But Winninger who was a deputy sheriff at one time sends for the son of his former boss Thomas Jefferson Destry played by Jimmy Stewart. Destry makes quite an entrance into Bottleneck, running afoul of saloon entertainer Marlene Dietrich. His arrival in Bottleneck up to his first encounter with Marlene are some of the funniest moments ever put on screen.
Destry Rides Again gave Marlene one of her classic ballads, See What the Boys in the Backroom Will Have as well as Little Joe, the Wrangler. Who would ever have thought that the girl from Germany would wind up having one of her most noted film roles as a western saloon entertainer. But Marlene created an indelible character, so much so that Mel Brooks and Madeline Kahn gave her a real heartfelt tribute in Blazing Saddles. I'll bet Marlene enjoyed that one also.
James Stewart did not return to the western genre until Winchester 73 and Broken Arrow eleven years later. But this was one great film to make a debut in that film art form.
You won't indulge in any promiscuous shooting while Destry is on the job.
17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
I once had a friend that..., 27 February 2003
Author: tmwest from S. Paulo, Brazil
James Stewart is Destry and he is called by the ex-drunk sheriff to bring law and order to the town of Bottleneck. Brian Donlevy is the bad guy who runs the town and Marlene Dietrich runs the saloon. Destry is a very, very low key guy, and the whole fun of the film is how he surprises the town´s people by turning up to be the opposite of what they think he is. Dietrich has a few great musical numbers and she brings a lot to the film. But the most fun is really Stewart, whenever he wants to make a statement he gives as an example several fictitious friends, after a while they all know it is a lie, but still keep listening. You can see this film a hundred times and still enjoy it.
22 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
When they say they don't make them like that any more . ., 17 April 2004
Author: alfa-16 from Rural Kent, UK
. . . this is what they mean.
I'm intrigued by the voting on this movie as I can't imagine any scale on which it wouldn't get top marks. Where exactly does it drop the ball? Cast - inspired; performances - stellar; script - faultless; direction - millimetre perfect; score - find me one better, ("See what the boys in the back room will have" has gone into the language).
Is it because it's not an arthouse movie? Or because of the dangerous idea that restraint, cool and smarts are more effective weapons than playground bully tactics?
As far as I am concerned, if you want to know how to put a movie together, you can start here. 10/10 is the only possible mark for a masterpiece.
21 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
Picks Up Steam And Has A Wild Finish, 1 May 2006
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The first part was a little slow to me but once you get past it, this
is an entertaining film which was popular with a lot of people,
including this reviewer, who actually liked it better the second time
Marlene Dietrich plays a role typical for her, an edgy saloon singer named "Frenchy," and except for her singing, which I never thought was very good, she's great to watch. James Stewart ("Thomas Jefferson Destry Jr.") also plays his normal role as the peaceful hero as does the too loud-and-obnoxious Charles Winniger (Destry's uncle).
The ending is famous, a strange one in which the town's women storm the bad guys in a bar, culminating with Dietrich and Una Merkel fighting it out! It's very unrealistic but memorable and certainly fun to watch.
All-in-all, a pretty fast-moving film which offers a little bit of everything: action, romance, drama, comedy....and a lot of good, known supporting actors I didn't even mention. This is one of the classics of a very famous year in films.
11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
This film reminds me of a fella I once knew......., 6 December 2004
Author: Mike-764 (email@example.com) from Flushing, NY
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Gambling hall owner Kent practically runs the rowdy town of Bottleneck and is driving all the ranchers and homesteaders to ruin by imposing tariffs on all cattle passing through and acquiring ranches through poker games, where Kent has his main saloon hall girl Frenchy work the cheating. One of the ranchers who lost his place in a game gets the sheriff to confront Kent, but is killed and the body disposed of. Needing a sheriff, Kent appoints Washington Dimsdale, the town drunk, to the position thinking he'll be a yes man, but Dimsdale takes the position seriously, saying he'll send for the son of the famous law man Tom Destry as a deputy. Destry, Jr. arrives, but to the dismay of Dimsdale he is a peaceful, anecdote reciting man. Destry has an idea of what's going on and tells Dimsdale that Kent and his mob can be legally rounded up pending they find the body of the late sheriff. Tom, Dimsdale, and Boris (hen-pecked wife of the owner of the boarding house) trick Kent into revealing the location of the body, and arrest Gyp Watson for the murder. Kent has the crooked Judge Slade preside over the murder case, but Tom sends for a federal judge to take the case. Kent knows now that he must free Watson from jail before he will talk. Excellent movie from start to finish with great and lively performances by the entire cast, spirited direction from Marshall, enjoyable script (nice anecdotes from Stewart), and great musical numbers. One highlight of the film is the barroom catfight between Frenchy (Dietrich) and Callhan (Merkel). Rating, 10.
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