Destry Rides Again (1939)

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

When a tough western town needs taming, the mild-mannered son of a hard-nosed sheriff gets the job.

Welcome to Bottleneck.
Deputy Tom Destry Jr. (James Stewart) rides in to Bottleneck and sets about ridding the town of its riff-raff elements - without guns!
Based on the novel by Max Brand, Destry Rides Again simultaneously spoofed the Western genre whilst reinvigorating Marlene Dietrich's flagging career. At first glance it seemed an odd casting choice to choose Dietrich as the bawdy saloon chanteuse, Frenchy, especially since Paulette Goddard was originally cast for the role. But it really comes off, where Dietrich's loud and brusque portrayal perfectly plays off of Jimmy Stewart's laid back and gentle mannered Destry performance.
The role of Destry is tailor made for Stewart, his everyman charm sits perfect for a character who is at first painted as a wimp, he drinks milk - he carries no guns, but who better than Stewart to fully realise a character that uses brains over brawn to great effect? A film of this type, though, is only as good as its villain, and thankfully Brian Donlevy steps up to the plate with a suitable grumpy sneer, it's a fine performance from a very undervalued performer.
Directed by the highly experienced George Marshall, Destry Rides Again is chock full of the elements that make a good family film even better than it should be, jokes a plenty, goodies and baddies, songs and quality slices of drama, all combine here to make this a very entertaining and rewarding picture indeed. While for those into girl power really need to check out the ending of this picture for sure.
Little Joe, Little Joe... 8/10

Universal Pictures by George Marshall, Felix Jackson, Gertrude Purcell, Henry Myers, Max Brand.
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart, Mischa Auer, Charles Winninger.

Genres: Comedy, Western

Keywords: deputy lawman 


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