7.2/10
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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.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writer:

Robert Buckner (original screen play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Errol Flynn ... Wade Hatton
Olivia de Havilland ... Abbie Irving
Ann Sheridan ... Ruby Gilman
Bruce Cabot ... Jeff Surrett
Frank McHugh ... Joe Clemens
Alan Hale ... Algernon 'Rusty' Hart
John Litel ... Matt Cole
Henry Travers ... Dr. Irving
Henry O'Neill ... Col. Dodge
Victor Jory ... Yancey
William Lundigan ... Lee Irving
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Tex Baird
Bobs Watson ... Harry Cole
Gloria Holden ... Mrs. Cole
Douglas Fowley ... Munger
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 April 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Esclavos del oro See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Olivia de Havilland regarded the project as a career letdown. She was tired of the string of ingenue parts Warners steadily provided, and her preference for the saloon singer role that went to Ann Sheridan went unheeded. "It was a period in which she was given to constant fits of crying and long days spent at home in bed," declared Tony Thomas in "The Films of Olivia de Havilland" (Citadel Press). "She was bored with her work and while making 'Dodge City' she claims that she even had trouble remembering her lines." See more »

Goofs

During the scene where the angry townspeople gather en masse outside the jail after Yancey is arrested, just above the rooflines of the buildings is seen a group of tall palm trees - certainly not native to Dodge City, Kansas, but relatively plentiful outside the studio sound lot in California. See more »

Quotes

Tex Baird: I decided to go back to Texas.
Rusty Hart: What for?
Tex Baird: Oh, I don't know. This place is getting too big and calm and peaceful-like.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Dodge City: Go West, Errol Flynn (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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 SpikeopathSee 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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