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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.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Frenchy
... Tom Destry Jr.
... Boris
... Washington Dimsdale
... Kent
... Gyp Watson
... Bugs Watson
... Janice Tyndall
... Lily Belle
... Loupgerou
... Judge Slade
... Jack Tyndall
... Lem Claggett
... Sophie Claggett
... 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:

They make the fighting sinful west blaze into action before your eyes! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Cidade Turbulenta  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to her grandson Peter Riva in an Icons Radio interview, Marlene Dietrich had no interest in doing a western when presented this script. But her friend Erich Maria Remarque convinced her that it would be perfect for her. Remarque told her that it would make her "more American". "If I am more American", Marlene asked him, "can I do more against the Nazis?" Remarque answered, "Of course". Dietrich's motive for doing this movie was to warn Americans about the Nazis. 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

Lily Belle: Hey you! Give me those pants. And from now now on, leave my husband alone.
Frenchy: I don't want your husband, Mrs. Callahan - all I want is his money... and his pants.
Lily Belle: And how'd you get 'em? By making eyes at him while you cheated, you gilded lily!
Frenchy: But Mrs. Callahan, you know he would rather be cheated by me than married to you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Roth's Dream
(uncredited)
Written by Aleth Hansen
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User Reviews

 
Clean and scrappy...
3 June 2005 | by See 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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