Destry Rides Again (1939)

james stewart and marlene dietrich
James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich

''Destry Rides Again'' is a 1939 comedy Western movie which parodies the traditional heroic Western genre. It was directed by George Marshall and starred James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Mischa Auer, and Brian Donlevy. It was well received on release by both public and critics but in the year of 'Gone With The Wind' and 'The Wizard of Oz' it unsurprisingly received no Academy Award nominations. It has an enduring appeal and is still popular today, with a genre of its own, the satirical Western.

In 1996, the movie was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

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James Stewart plays Destry, the soft-spoken newly appointed sheriff of the unruly town of Bottleneck. He is not the typical frontier town sheriff as he drinks milk and doesn't carry a gun, but he wins over the respect of the townsfolk and the affections of Frenchy, the bargirl played by Marlene Dietrich, and succeeds in cleaning up the town and bringing the bad guys, headed by Saloon owner Kent (Brian Donlevy), to justice.

Its an amusing and unusual movie and is packed with memorable scenes and witty dialogue. It is well acted by a first class cast and the whole thing is handled with a deft touch by director Marshall.

Main Cast

Marlene Dietrich ... Frenchy
James Stewart ... Tom Destry Jr.
Mischa Auer ... Boris
Charles Winninger ... Washington Dimsdale
Brian Donlevy ... Kent
Allen Jenkins ... Gyp Watson
Warren Hymer ... Bugs Watson
Irene Hervey ... Janice Tyndall
Una Merkel ... Lily Belle
Billy Gilbert ... Loupgerou
Samuel S. Hinds ... Judge Slade
Jack Carson ... Jack Tyndall
Tom Fadden ... Lem Claggett
Virginia Brissac ... Sophie Claggett
Edmund MacDonald ... Rockwell
Lillian Yarbo ... Clara
Joe King ... Sheriff Keogh
Dickie Jones ... Claggett Boy
Ann E. Todd ... Claggett Girl


Director ... George Marshall
Producer ... Joe Pasternak
Distribution Company ... Universal Pictures
Original Story ... from the novel "Destry Rides Again" by Max Brand
Written by ... Felix Jackson (screenplay and story), Henry Myers, Gertrude Purcell
Music ... Frank Skinner
Cinematography ... Hal Mohr
Format ... B & W
Release date ... December 29, 1939
Running time ... 94 minutes

Academy Awards

No Wins:
No Nominations: