Criterion Press Release: Destry Rides Again (Blu-ray)

3 Stars

4P9NFIWtoKZgFHiOa6pDPBelWQf1U4_large.

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

administrator

29 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    [parsehtml]
    <iframe style="width:120px;height:240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=htfronsposts-20&language=en_US&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B083XVKJX5&asins=B083XVKJX5&linkId=8b9237d05cd1606019d7e794d796ad70&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true"></iframe>
    [/parsehtml]

  3. Dick

    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.

  4. Martin_Teller

    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.

  5. I thought it was just me. Who designs these things? Surprisingly inept from such an outfit which should know collectors like the original poster art and not something that makes them ask, ‘What are they thinking?!’

  6. The cover art is indeed Cluny Brown-level awful.

    The lack of a commentary track is indeed disappointing but as noted previously, not all commentary tracks are equal and a few recent ones have been….lacking.

    I am going to go full curmudgeon and say what is even worse is that some of the contributors to this disc are (to me) among the most annoying participants of what is known as "Film Twitter", but that's OK. The film is an absolute gem and will be my first pick at the next 50% sale.

  7. I must chime in on this. Criterion tortured us with hope with "Now, Voyager". These dreadful covers for most of these A-film classics are discouraging. Imagine holding this Destry blu-ray up to a friend and saying "Wanna watch this?"

  8. Ken Koc

    Horrific cover art!!!! Criterion does it again. Is the artist paying off Criterion????? So angry…I can't wait to rip the cover of the Blu-ray to shreds!!!!!!!

    Now now they are still good movies that we love. Just if you invite over friends to watch them show them the cover to Penelope.

  9. roxy1927

    Now now they are still good movies that we love. Just if you invite over friends to watch them show them the cover to Penelope.

    Penelope is the original artwork…which is very cool.
    I'll make a new cover for Destry…the Original poster artwork.

Leave a Reply