The Twin Geeks 114: Destry Rides Again (1939)

In a year of many cinematic milestones, the comparably modest aspirations of the comedy Western Destry Rides Again still manage to stand the test of time to prove an enduring and vital classic of the Western genre. At the same time luminaries such as John Ford were revitalizing the genre with prestige films such as Stagecoach, director George Marshall and the genre-specializing producers at Universal sought to upend the genre in a notably different manner, flipping the script on typical melodrama plots with a distinct sense of raucous parody that would influence countless spoofs to come. Destry Rides Again remains the zenith of these satiric efforts, though, thanks to its ability to function as a straight Western drama at the same time it parodies its most ridiculous tropes. James Stewart’s turn as the charming stalwart sheriff with an uncommon approach to justice sizzles with the enigmatic European allure of Marlene Dietrich in this chaotic Western watering hole, matched by a compelling supporting cast of colorful characters. The film is vibrant and engaging, with a very unique set of sensibilities that remains unmatched by anything to come of the genre ever since. An unforgettable and joyous romp with a litany of comic subversions make Destry Rides Again one of the true paragons of the early wave of Western classics. 

0:00 The Enigma of Orson Welles
7:05 Arklight Cinema and Pacific Theaters shut down, as we look to return to the movies
16:50 Mogul Mowgli
18:58 Little Girl

21:32 Slalom
25:06 Summer of 85
29:07 Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street
35:08 Ken Burns’ Hemingway
40:00 Marlene (1984)
47:44 Destry Rides Again

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