DESTRY RIDES AGAIN (1939)

   Jimmy Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, George Marshall (director)
   Destry Rides Again is one of three films based on the same novel by Max Brand. Unlike the version made five years earlier, starring Tom Mix, this version bears little resemblance to the novel other than the title and the last name of the main character.
   Bottleneck is a town out of control. The sheriff has just been killed by a corrupt racketeer. The equally corrupt mayor appoints the town drunk as sheriff. However, the new sheriff does have enough wits about him to wire Thomas Jefferson Destry (Stewart) to come help him out. Destry’s father had been a gunfighter of repute. Destry arrives, but he does not wear guns, and instead of wielding any power, he simply tries to smooth talk all troublemakers into giving up. Meanwhile, the local saloon singer, Frenchy (Dietrich), has been ordered to win Destry over. She finds her work more than she can handle. Eventually, when Bottleneck is lulled into complacency, Destry’s guns come alive with a fury, and the “silly” deputy sheriff tames the town. The film is unfortunately dated by its inclusion of a stereotyped African American—the maid, Clara (Lillian Yarbo), who quivers with terror every time a gun goes off.
   While not in the same category as later comic Westerns such as Blazing Saddles (1974), Destry Rides Again does, nevertheless, contain comic elements, many of them surrounding Frenchy and her work in the saloon; in fact, Madeline Kahn parodies Dietrich’s role in her part as Lili Von Shtupp in Blazing Saddles. Comedy aside, Dietrich’s deep, sultry Germanic voice makes for some great music in this Western masterpiece. Jimmy Stewart’s role of the “aw shucks” paci fist deputy fits the persona he cultivated in many of his popular nonWestern films but is a far cry from his later personae in the Anthony Mann Westerns.
   See also COMIC NEGRO.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Destry Rides Again — This article is about the 1939 movie remake Destry Rides Again. For the novel, see Destry Rides Again (novel). For the 1932 movie starring Tom Mix, see Destry Rides Again (1932 film). For the 1954 movie remake starring Audie Murphy and Thomas… …   Wikipedia

  • Destry Rides Again (novel) — This article is about the novel by Max Brand. For the 1932 movie Destry Rides Again starring Tom Mix, see Destry Rides Again (1932 film). For the 1939 movie remake starring Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart, see Destry Rides Again. For the 1954… …   Wikipedia

  • Destry Rides Again (musical) — This article is about the Broadway musical Destry Rides Again. For the novel, see Destry Rides Again (novel). For the 1932 movie starring Tom Mix, see Destry Rides Again (1932 film). For the 1939 movie starring Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart …   Wikipedia

  • Destry Rides Again (1932 film) — This article is about the 1932 movie Destry Rides Again starring Tom Mix. For the novel, see Destry Rides Again (novel). For the 1939 remake starring Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart, see Destry Rides Again. For the 1954 movie remake starring… …   Wikipedia

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  • Der große Bluff (1939) — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Der große Bluff Originaltitel Destry Rides Again …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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