Destry Rides Again

Movie Details

Year1939
DirectorGeorge Marshall
Key CastJames Stewart, Marlene Dietrich
MPAA RatingApproved
Film TypeBlack and White
Genre(s)Western, Comedy
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James Stewart Meets Marlene Dietrich in this Classic Western Movie

 
“Destry Rides Again” teams up all-time-greats James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich.
 
Tom Destry Jr. (James Stewart) is the son of a legendary lawman in the Wild West town of Bottleneck. He’s been is appointed deputy sheriff by the town drunk, who himself was put in office by ruthless gambler Kent (Brian Donlevy), the real boss of the town. No one knows exactly what happened to the previous sheriff, who disappeared after a particularly shady poker game.
 
Kent is certain he has Destry under his thumb (after all, the deputy makes his first appearance with a parasol and a bird cage), but Destry has his own ways of keeping the peace. No one knows what to make of the mild-mannered Destry, even Frenchy (Marlene Diertrich), the saloon singer and hostess.
 
Frenchy uses her feminine ways to put Destry off the scent of the missing sheriff but finds herself attracted to Destry instead, who shows her the lady she is under all the greasepaint.
 
The resulting clash between Destry, Kent and Frenchy turns the whole town upside down in this rollicking shoot ‘em up.
 
Destry Rides Again was a career highlight for both Stewart and Dietrich. In fact, this western is credited with reviving Marlene Dietrich’s ailing movie career at the time.
 

 
• “Destry Rides Again” is the second of three films that based on the 1930 book by Max Brand. None of the three screen versions of the Destry Rides Again novel followed the book very closely. The first movie version of “Destry Rides Again” was made in 1932 and starred Tom Mix, who was the most popular cowboy movie star of the time. In the Mix film, Tom Destry owns a stagecoach line and is framed for murder. When Universal decided to remake the movie in 1939 starring James Stewart, they did not follow the novel very closely either, but decided to make sure that they had outstanding performers. Marlene Dietrich’s singing “See What the Boys in the Backroom Will Have” is considered one of the movie’s highlight scenes. The third version of “Destry Rides Again” was made in 1954 and starred Audie Murphy. Film critics, though, don’t consider this last version to be as good as the first two film versions starring Tom Mix and James Stewart.
 
• The novel Destry Rides Again by Max Brand is one of the most successful western novels ever written. It is still being reprinted 70 years after it was first published in 1930. Max Brand was the pen name for American writer Frederick Schiller Faust. Faust used a number of other pen names for his writings and is reputed to have written over 25 million words during his lifetime.
 
• “Destry Rides Again” was also made into a Broadway musical in 1959 starring Andy Griffith as Destry and Delores Gray as Frenchy.
 
 
• In 1996, this western movie was added to the National Film Registry. It is one of the few cowboy westerns to be chosen for this honor.
 

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Destry Rides Again DVD

Acting greats James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich co-star in this classic western about a mild-mannered deputy who is called to get a wild and corrupt town under control.

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