Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Destry Rides Again (1939)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Destry Rides Again (1939)

In George Marshall's western comedy set in the small wild frontier town of Bottleneck, and mostly centered around the Last Chance Saloon:

  • the opening scene of dishonest saloon singer "Frenchy" (Marlene Dietrich) helping to rig a crooked poker game (on the saloon's second floor) by causing a distraction (to allow a card substitution) and preventing rancher/farmer Lem Claggett (Tom Fadden) from winning a game against Bottleneck's corrupt boss and saloon owner Kent (Brian Donlevy); (later Claggett complained: "Why that low-down skunk sucked me into betting my ranch and cattle and then switched cards on me")
  • the sight of Frenchy being congratulated by Kent for helping him win - she placedf gold coins down her cleavage (prompting a censored line of dialogue voiced by Gyp Watson (Warren Hymer)): "There's gold in them thar hills" - the line that was heard was Frenchy telling Kent: "I'd rather have cash in the bank"
  • the scenes of the bawdy saloon singer belting out songs, such as You've Got That Look (That Leaves Me Weak) while wearing a feather boa, and the rousing See What the Boys in the Back Room Will Have while wearing a cowboy/bolero outfit (during the finale, she strutted down the length of the bar)
Bawdy Last Chance Saloon Singer "Frenchy"
You've Got That Look (That Leaves Me Weak)
See What the Boys in the Back Room Will Have
  • the stagecoach arrival of soft-spoken, mild-mannered, and gawky Tom Destry Jr. (James Stewart), the son of the ex-Sheriff who was gunned down in the back, now invited to town as the deputy Sheriff, but carrying a birdcage and parasol (to help another female passenger), and explaining that he didn't carry a gun
  • the two-minute, hair-pulling female wrestling brawl (the roughest in film history) between Frenchy and Lily Belle Callahan (Una Merkel) - the wife of Russian emigre Boris Callahan (Mischa Auer) that Frenchy had cheated during a poker game (to win his pair of trousers); and the fight's breakup when Destry poured water over them
  • in the final scene, Destry militantly strapped on his guns to avenge the death of the newly-appointed Sheriff - the town's drunk Washington or "Wash" Dimsdale (Charles Winninger), killed during a jail breakout; in a shootout in the saloon, heroine Frenchy sacrificed herself for Destry by blocking a bullet (to warn him of an ambush by Kent on the second floor), and she died in his arms

Frenchy with Cheating Kent (Brian Donlevy) After Rigged Poker Game

Tom Destry Jr.'s Arrival - With Birdcage and Parasol

Catfight Between Frenchy and Lily Belle Callahan

The Death of Sheriff Dimsdale

Kent Killed After Shooting at Destry and Hitting Frenchy

Frenchy Expiring in Destry's Arms


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