Main      Site Guide    
At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Destry (1954)



Reviews and Comments

Director George Marshall remakes his own remake, Destry Rides Again, this time titling it just Destry, causing minor confusion over which film actually came first. Audie Murphy takes over the role Jimmy Stewart had, and while it's not easy to fill Stewart's shoes, Murphy is a natural for the part and does just fine. The weak link is Mari Blanchard, who turns in a generic and uninspiring performance next to Marlene Dietrich's fantastic portrayal in the 1939 version.

Her performance is typical of the inferiorities of this 1954 remake. Although some minor plot points were tweaked, several scenes are replayed line for line as they appeared in the 1939 version, often with identical sets and staging -- but without the artistic flair. The dialogue packs less punch, and the majority of the characters are hopelessly trapped behind the silver screen, separated from reality. This version does, however, make some improvements, most noticeably to the climax, which is a more traditional but also a more believable conclusion. And the story itself is a fine one -- while there's no question that the Stewart/Dietrich version is superior, this is a decent western in its own right.

Other Versions