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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:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Body Count: 10. See more »


The Matt Cole's tombstone reads "Died June 6, 1875". Afterward, the sheriff's notices, published by Dodge City Star, read "July 1, 1872". See more »


[Abbie laughs at Wade after he falls in the newspaper office]
Wade Hatton: You know, there's an old saying in the British Army: "The law must always save its face in front of the natives."
Abbie Irving: And what if the natives object to its face?
Wade Hatton: We just put them across our knee... and spank them! Soundly!
Abbie Irving: You're not suggesting that I'm a native?
Wade Hatton: No. The only real native of Kansas is the buffalo. He's got a very hard head, a very uncertain temper and a very lonely future. Apart from that there's hardly any comparison ...
See more »


Edited into Amérique, notre histoire (2006) 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

Errol Goes West
9 August 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Errol Flynn in his autobiography said he never understood his popularity in westerns. He never felt he was suited for them in the way Johnny Wayne was (that's right, that's how he referred to the Duke), but that he went with the flow at Warner Brothers.

In addition to giving Flynn technicolor and his favorite leading lady Olivia DeHavilland, Warner Brothers gave him a script with an Indian attack, a wagon train, a saloon brawl, a cattle drive and the usual results when at the end of a cattle drive the cowboys start celebrating and one blazing railroad train. Lots of western clichés, but served up very well indeed.

Bruce Cabot the town boss of Dodge City and henchman Victory Jory make some big money in many ways by keeping the town as rough and wild as possible. These two guys are pretty standard villains for westerns, but they play it with style.

Since this was Flynn's first of eight westerns, Warner Brothers felt it necessary to explain his Aussie accent by saying he was an international soldier of fortune from Ireland. Later westerns wouldn't even bother.

The climax involves Flynn, DeHavilland, and Alan Hale in a burning railroad car shooting it out with the bad guys. You can see it a hundred times and still be thrilled with how our intrepid heroes deal with their situation.

Mention has been made before of the saloon brawl. Possibly one of the biggest filmed on screen. Stock footage was used from it for years in subsequent Warner Brothers films.

Olivia DeHavilland hated this when it was first being made. She was trying at the time to escape playing the crinoline heroine to Errol Flynn and other stars. In truth that's what she is here. She fought for and eventually got the roles worthy of her talents.

But she related on an interview I saw with her that she was at a revival of this and of Robin Hood and seeing both of them again some forty years later and commenting on how well the audience responded, she felt a pride in the work she did. As well she should.

36 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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