3 Stars

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Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart ride high in this superb comedic western, both a boisterous spoof and a shining example of the genre it is having fun with. As the brawling, rough-and-tumble saloon singer Frenchy, Dietrich shed her exotic love-goddess image and launched a triumphant career comeback, while Stewart cemented his amiable everyman persona, in his first of many westerns, with a charming turn as a gun-abhorring deputy sheriff who uses his wits to bring law and order to the frontier town of Bottleneck. A sparkling script, a supporting cast of virtuoso character actors, and rollicking musical numbers—delivered with unmatched bravado by the magnetic Dietrich—come together to create an irresistible, oft-imitated marvel of studio-era craftsmanship.

FILM INFO

  • George Marshall
  • United States
  • 1939
  • 94 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.35:1
  • English
  • Spine #1024

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • New 4K digital restoration by Universal Pictures in collaboration with The Film Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with critic Imogen Sara Smith
  • New interview with Donald Dewey, author of James Stewart: A Biography
  • New video essay featuring excerpts from a 1973 oral-history interview with director George Marshall, conducted by the American Film Institute
  • Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1945, featuring actors James Stewart and Joan Blondell
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme

New cover illustration by Marc Aspinall

April 14, 2020

Published by

Ronald Epstein

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Dick

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No commentary? This one cries out for one. The bonus features here are pretty meh. Years ago, Criterion would have sold this one at $29.95.
 

Matt Hough

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I'm very excited by this announcement. The film is a long-time favorite. It put Marlene Dietrich back on the box-office map after she had been labeled box-office poison the previous year (along with Katharine Hepburn, Mae West, Joan Crawford, and others), and added to James Stewart's most remarkable 1939 movie output.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I’ve got the German edition from a few years ago which I have no complaints about, but the movie is such a delight that I’d be happy to splurge on a Criterion (while also showing my support for Jimmy Stewart releases).
 

Ronald Epstein

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Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link. As an Amazon Associate HTF earns from qualifying purchases

 
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Martin_Teller

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No commentary? This one cries out for one. The bonus features here are pretty meh. Years ago, Criterion would have sold this one at $29.95.
More and more, I prefer interviews like Criterion is doing here over commentaries. While there are of course exceptions, commentary tracks tend to ramble, have big gaps of silence, reel off long lists of credits from IMDb, and/or make pointless, obvious observations. I used to consider a commentary track a must-have... nowadays I ask myself "do I need to listen to all of this?"

Just my opinion, of course.
 
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Johnny Angell

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More and more, I prefer interviews like Criterion is doing here over commentaries. While there are of course exceptions, commentary tracks tend to ramble, have big gaps of silence, reel off long lists of credits from IMDb, and/or make pointless, obvious observations. I used to consider a commentary track a must-have... nowadays I ask myself "do I need to listen to all of this?"

Just my opinion, of course.
Your opinion is a result a poor commentaries. I agree too many commentators have done little to no preparation. But a commentary is really good, well that’s a delight.
 

Trancas

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Love the movie.
Hate Criterion's cover. Look at the warped, malnourished arms and those huge, man-sized skeletal hands. Her face looks like it's been painted on one of those white rubbery things that you use to scrape batter out of a mixing bowl.

Marlene crop.jpg



Marlene was a beauty in this film!
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bujaki

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Love the movie.
Hate Criterion's cover. Look at the warped, malnourished arms and those huge, man-sized skeletal hands. Her face looks like it's been painted on one of those white rubbery things that you use to scrape batter out of a mixing bowl.

View attachment 67415



Marlene was a beauty in this film!
View attachment 67414
She truly looks awful. Look at her out-of-proportion head.