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Destry (1954)

Approved | | Western | 1 December 1954 (USA)
In his desire to control a frontier town, ruthless town boss Decker appoints the town drunk as sheriff who, in return, hires gunfighter Destry as his deputy.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Tom Destry
... Brandy
... Decker
... Rags Barnaby
... Mayor Sellers
... Martha Phillips
... Doc Curtis
... Bessie Mae Curtis
... Jack Larson
... Curly
Richard Reeves ... Mac
... Henry Skinner
... Eli Skinner
Anthony Lawrence ... Professor (as Mitchell Lawrence)
... Dummy
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Storyline

In the old West, a small frontier town is being controlled by ruthless mob boss Decker and his cronies. After the local sheriff dies under mysterious circumstances, Decker arranges to have the town drunk appointed sheriff, thinking he will be ineffectual. But the new sheriff sends for Tom Destry, son of a famous two-fisted lawman, to be his deputy. When Tom arrives, he isn't exactly the swaggering he-man the sheriff had in mind. In fact, Destry doesn't even carry a gun. But the new deputy's mild exterior masks a fierce determination to see justice done, as Decker and the other locals soon discover. Written by Dan Navarro <daneldorado@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the roaring , raucous, rowdy pages of the best-loved legend of the West!

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 December 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Destry räumt auf  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,500,000, 31 December 1954
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song "Empty Arms", sung in DESTRY by Mari Blanchard, was used again by Universal in their remake of IMITATION OF LIFE starring Lana Turner where it is lip-synched by Susan Kohner as Sarah Jane Johnson when she is singing in Harry''s Club, a "low down dive". See more »

Goofs

In the bar scene where Brandy is singing "Empty Arms", one of the lines is, "Do you hear me, Dad" addressing one of the male admirers. The slang use of "Dad" (similar to "dude", "bro", etc) came into usage in the 1950's, at least 70 years after the setting of the movie, but the movie was made in 1954 when the saying was popular. See more »

Quotes

Tom Destry: You make an exception in one case, you may as well not have the law. You can understand that, can't you?
Eli Skinner: I guess, I'm not old enough to understand anything like that.
Tom Destry: Well, you'll probably never get old enough to understand a woman.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #33.70 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Trit Trot
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Henry Mancini
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User Reviews

Fun but unnecessary
25 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

When the Sheriff of Restful asks one too many questions about the legitimacy of Decker's card games, he winds up dead and the new sheriff is the town drunk. The corrupt forces behind Restful think that things will be just how they like it from now on but don't figure that the drunk will call in help in the form of a deputy, Tom Destry – son of the famous lawman. However Destry Jr turns out to not only be against carrying guns but also be soft-spoken and good-humoured – not characteristics that Rags hoped for in his deputy. However with a culture of silence, gun crime widespread and the town in the grip of the sultry and dangerous Brandy, can Destry make an impact?

Just to prove that modern Hollywood does not have the sole rights to the concept of the totally unnecessary remake, we have this film made 15 years after the definitive version starring Stewart and Dietrich; and true to form, this version is just that – unnecessary. The plot is pretty much a carbon copy and indeed a lot of the scenes are almost copies of the 1939 version and the only thing this achieves is to highlight that it has all been done before – and better. Although it is a copy, it isn't as free-wheeling, fun or energetic as the previous film and it does show.

The main reason for this is the cast as this bunch show how important the cast were in 1939. Murphy bravely plays against type but he just isn't as well suited to the role as Stewart was – he plays naïve well enough but it isn't that funny or fun. Blanchard does the best she can and in fairness she does pretty well filling Dietrich's boots. Mitchell is always fun and does well enough but the rest of the support cast aren't really there. The musical numbers are quite fun but again feel like it is aping other numbers rather than going out on its own territory.

Overall nothing in this film is bad, in fact it is quite enjoyable across the board. However when you watch the 1939 film you have to wonder why they bothered to go back and remake it at all since all it manages to do is highlight how the "original" was better in the first place – and that only knocks the fun out of it that bit more.


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