Deputy sheriff Destry tames the town of Bottle Neck, including saloon singer Frenchy.Deputy sheriff Destry tames the town of Bottle Neck, including saloon singer Frenchy.Deputy sheriff Destry tames the town of Bottle Neck, including saloon singer Frenchy.
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.
- Aug 21, 2006