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Dodge City (1939)

Approved | | Western | 8 April 1939 (USA)
A Texas cattle agent witnesses first hand, the brutal lawlessness of Dodge City and takes the job of sheriff to clean the town up.



(original screen play)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Cole
Dr. Irving
Col. Dodge
Lee Irving
Tex Baird
Bobs Watson ...
Harry Cole
Mrs. Cole


Dodge City. A wide-open cattle town run by Jeff Surrett. Even going on a children's Sunday outing is not a safe thing to do. What the place needs is a fearless honest Marshal. A guy like Wade Hatton, who helped bring the railroad in. It may not help that he fancies Abbie Irving, who won't have anything to do with him since he had to shoot her brother. But that's the West. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


West of Dodge City there was no God! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 April 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Esclavos del oro  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The man Errol Flynn throws through the window of the barbershop was none other than his pal and long-time drinking companion, stuntman Buster Wiles. See more »


Wade Hatton is seen putting on his gun-belt and sheriff's badge in the sheriff's office, two scenes before he and a group of men are seen removing the board across the door to the office. See more »


[they're looking at the buffalo herd]
Rusty Hart: Lucky devils: nothin' to do but eat and sleep.
Tex Baird: That's right, hard head. The only difference between you and them is a pair of horns.
See more »


Featured in Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern (1995) See more »


Marching Through Georgia
(1865) (uncredited)
Written by Henry Clay Work
Sung by saloon patrons in competition with "Dixie's Land"
See more »

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User Reviews

Well, well. So this is Dodge City, huh? Sort of smells like Fort Worth, don't it?
15 August 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Dodge City, Kansas - 1872. Longhorn cattle center of the world and wide-open Babylon of the American frontier - packed with settlers, thieves and gunmen".

"Dodge City... rolling in wealth from the great Texas trail-herds... the town that knew no ethics but cash and killing".

Enter trail boss Wade Hatton, cunningly disguised as a dashing Errol Flynn........

Dodge City, an all action Western from start to finish, finds Errol Flynn {in his first Western outing} on tip top form. Based around the story of Wyatt Earp, Michael Curtiz's expensively assembled film charms as much today as it did to audiences back in 1939. All the genre staples are holding the piece together, dastardly villains, pretty gals, wagon train, cattle drive, iron horse, Civil War, shoot outs, fist fights and of course an heroic Sheriff. All neatly folded by the astute and impressive Curtiz. Aided by Sol Polito's fluid Technicolor enhanced photography, and Max Steiner's breezy score, Curtiz's set pieces shine as much as they enthral. A burning runaway train and the finest saloon brawl in cinema are the stand outs, but there are many other high points on which to hang the hat of praise.

Very much a male dominated film, it's with the ladies that Dodge City fails to reach greater heights. Olivia de Havilland, who is always a feast for the eyes in Technicolor, disliked her role as Abbie Irving, and it's not hard to see why. There is not much for her to get her teeth into, it's a simple role that demands nothing other than saying the lines and to look pretty. Ann Sheridan as Ruby Gilman gets the more sparky role, but she sadly doesn't get that much screen time. Which is a shame because what little there is of Sheridan is really rather great.

Those problems aside, it's with the guys that Dodge City is rightly remembered. Flynn attacks the role of Hatton with gusto and a glint in his eye. When he straps on the Sheriff badge for the first time it's akin to Clark Kent shredding his suit to become Superman. Yes it's that exciting. Bruce Cabot and Victor Jory are growly and great villains, while comedy relief comes in the fine form of side-kickers Alan Hale and Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams. Dodge City sets out to entertain, and entertain it does. In a year that saw other notable and lauded Westerns also released {Stagecoach, Jesse James and Destry Rides Again} give credit where credit is due, Dodge City deserves its place amongst those offerings. Most assuredly so as well. 8/10

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