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Destry Rides Again

From Academic Kids

Destry Rides Again is a 1939 western film directed by George Marshall, starring James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Mischa Auer, Charles Winninger, Brian Donlevy, Allen Jenkins, Irene Hervey and Una Merkel.

Stewart plays the pacifist son of a town's beloved former sheriff Tom Destry. When the new sheriff is murdered for refusing to look the other way during a rigged poker game, the younger Destry takes up his father's star and must choose between his principles of nonviolence and the need for force to enforce the law.

In the film, the conventions already long established in the genre are challenged and turned to comic effect: instead of the men saving the day through gunfights, you have women saving the men. You still have a bar-fight, but its a woman's catfight. You still have gambling with high stakes, but instead of someone losing a farm, you have him losing his pants.

The film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

A western with a very similar plot and similar comic effects is Michael Curtiz's Dodge City.

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