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Destry Rides Again (1939)

Approved | | Comedy, Western | 29 December 1939 (USA)
When a tough western town needs taming, the mild-mannered son of a hard-nosed sheriff gets the job.

Director:

George Marshall

Writers:

Felix Jackson (screen play), Gertrude Purcell (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marlene Dietrich ... Frenchy
James Stewart ... Tom Destry Jr.
Mischa Auer ... Boris
Charles Winninger ... Washington Dimsdale
Brian Donlevy ... Kent
Allen Jenkins ... Gyp Watson
Warren Hymer ... Bugs Watson
Irene Hervey ... Janice Tyndall
Una Merkel ... Lily Belle
Billy Gilbert ... Loupgerou
Samuel S. Hinds ... Judge Slade
Jack Carson ... Jack Tyndall
Tom Fadden ... Lem Claggett
Virginia Brissac ... Sophie Claggett
Edmund MacDonald ... Rockwell (as Edmund Macdonald)
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Storyline

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 <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THE GREATEST CAST EVER CORRALLED for a frontier drama like you've NEVER seen in all your born days! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

29 December 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Cidade Turbulenta See more »

Filming Locations:

Kernville, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,600,000, 31 December 1940
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies. See more »

Goofs

Tom Destry/James Stewart makes the typical movie actor mistake of shooting his pistol at something by jerking the pistol and firing the gun at the target at the same time. In reality, if a shooter did that he would be moving the pistol off line and would miss every time, because the motion of the hand would impart a vector onto the bullet that would make it miss. Also, shooting that way is incredibly inaccurate. A real shooter would level the pistol at the target and then pull the trigger. Audie Murphy, a trained marksman, shot his pistols correctly in his remake of this movie, "Destry." See more »

Quotes

Judge Slade: According to the provisions of the statutes of our territorial commonwealth, you gentleman of the jury have been selected as representative citizens of our fair community. We want to see that the public's faith is justified. So when you boys retire to consider a verdict, stay out awhile. Mr. Kent will see that you are plentifuly provided with liquid refreshments. And after you have deliberated sufficiently, weighed all the evidence fair and square, and brought in a verdict of not guilty, you ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Honeymoon Machine (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
Traditional folk song
Performed by Lillian Yarbo
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Clean and scrappy...
3 June 2005 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

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 parody—Mischa 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...


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