Destry Rides Again (George Marshall, 1939)
A young James Stewart plays the new deputy (Destry) in the little town of Bottleneck. The city has no real order and the criminals seem to runs the place (ain't talking about politicians here.. well). The Last Chance Saloon where Frenchie (Marlene Dietrich) is running a burlesque show and running the whole town.
The story of the film is set to let enough space to let the comedic elements of the film be exploited at their maximum. Well, far from being a great comedy like a Chaplin, Keaton or even Lubitsch Destry Rides Again is more like a farce into the Western genre. Well, some moments are sure laughs but relying only on that and on the thin story the film would not be worth it if you let Dietrich and Stewart apart of the whole film.
Some scenes are build up to take pretty images of Marlene Dietrich in sexy costumes. Good for the viewer, but it doesn't really help the story to go further. She was a beautiful woman but is it just me but I think she has "funny" eyes?
On the other side, James Stewart is in the first moments of his brilliant Western career and gives an regular good performance in this comedy.
Destry Rides Again is worth the look but not as good as many other Westerns I will be reviewing here in the future. Come back again this week I will be reviewing Anthony Mann's great Winchester '73.
A review by Michaël Parent