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Destry (1954)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Music | 1 December 1954 (USA)
In his desire to control a frontier town, ruthless town boss Decker appoints the town drunk as sheriff who, in return, hires gunfighter Destry as his deputy.


George Marshall


Edmund H. North (screenplay), D.D. Beauchamp (screenplay) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Audie Murphy ... Tom Destry
Mari Blanchard ... Brandy
Lyle Bettger ... Decker
Thomas Mitchell ... Rags Barnaby
Edgar Buchanan ... Mayor Sellers
Lori Nelson ... Martha Phillips
Wallace Ford ... Doc Curtis
Mary Wickes ... Bessie Mae Curtis
Alan Hale Jr. ... Jack Larson
George Wallace ... Curly
Richard Reeves ... Mac
Walter Baldwin ... Henry Skinner
Lee Aaker ... Eli Skinner
Anthony Lawrence Anthony Lawrence ... Professor (as Mitchell Lawrence)
Frank Richards ... Dummy


In the old West, a small frontier town is being controlled by ruthless mob boss Decker and his cronies. After the local sheriff dies under mysterious circumstances, Decker arranges to have the town drunk appointed sheriff, thinking he will be ineffectual. But the new sheriff sends for Tom Destry, son of a famous two-fisted lawman, to be his deputy. When Tom arrives, he isn't exactly the swaggering he-man the sheriff had in mind. In fact, Destry doesn't even carry a gun. But the new deputy's mild exterior masks a fierce determination to see justice done, as Decker and the other locals soon discover. Written by Dan Navarro <daneldorado@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From the roaring , raucous, rowdy pages of the best-loved legend of the West!


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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

1 December 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Destry räumt auf See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Audie Murphy acted with Alan Hale Jr. in this film. Hale would go on to be Skipper in Gilligan's Island (1964). Murphy made Ride Clear of Diablo (1954) with Russell Johnson, who played "The Professor" on "Gilligan's Island". See more »


In the bar scene where Brandy is singing "Empty Arms", one of the lines is, "Do you hear me, Dad" addressing one of the male admirers. The slang use of "Dad" (similar to "dude", "bro", etc) came into usage in the 1950's, at least 70 years after the setting of the movie, but the movie was made in 1954 when the saying was popular. See more »


Tom Destry: What about the Doc? Is he any good?
Reginald T. 'Rags' Barnaby: I had a dog once. He got all swelled up. Doc wanted to operate. The next day I had six of the prettiest puppies you've ever seen.
See more »


Remake of Destry Rides Again (1939) See more »


If You Can Can-Can
Words & Music by Frederick Herbert and Arnold Schwarzwald (as Arnold Hughes)
Performed by Mari Blanchard (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty good western chronicles a strong fight between a peacemaker and a nasty Saloon owner
26 June 2017 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Western comedy with George Marshall's inspired direction . This spirited realization that never flags results to be a potpourri of Western , comedy , irony and action . A peaceful and milksop cowboy named Tom Destry performed by the good-mannered Audie Murphy cleans up an uncontrollably lawless Western town . The mild and unarmed Tom is appointed as deputy by the crusading sheriff , the battle-loving drunk called Barnaby (well played by Thomas Mitchell) . These were the adventures , fighting , laughing and brawling from a peace-loving stranger named Destry . He had a grudge to settle , a town to tame and two woman fighting to make him their man . At the small town rules the powerful villain Decker (Lyle Bettger previously played by Brian Donlevy) . There Tom meets Brandy , a beautiful dancer (Mari Blanchard in a similar interpretation to Marlene Dietrich) . Tom makes Brandy change her brand . A hard-boiled Brandy with a difference -rouged but rugged- who fights , yells , yodels her way , sharp-nailed to love . When a tough western town needs taming , the mild-mannered son of the famous hard-nosed Tom Destry gets the job .

From the roaring pages of Max Brand's immortal classical comes the story of the day the West will never forget .., the day Destry carried a gun . This Universal-International-Picture gets Western action , shootouts , a love story , musical numbers and a breathtaking final confrontation at the saloon . This is a classic Hollywood Western , print in Technicolor , it turns out to be a mixture of thrills , brawls , crossfire and humor . Audie Murphy gives a sympathetic acting as a sheriff helper , new deputy's mild exterior masks a fierce determination to see justice done, this brawling Western turned him movie career all around the world and became him a box-office again . Murphy won more tan 20 medals , being the most decorated American soldier , including the Congressional Medal of Honor and he was also awarded five decorations by France and Belgium . Murphy starred a great number of Westerns as ¨The kid from Texas¨, ¨Cimarron Kid¨, ¨Gunpoint¨, ¨Night Passage¨, ¨The Gunrunners¨, ¨Posse from Hell¨, ¨Gunfight at Comanche¨, ¨Rifles Apaches¨, ¨The Unforgiven¨, ¨Red badge of courage¨, ¨Legend of Sam Ward¨, ¨Whispering Smith¨, ¨40 Guns at Apache pass¨ , ¨Texas kid¨ , among others . Being usually directed by Jesse Hibbs who directed various Audie Murphy vehicles such as : this ¨To hell and Back¨ (1955) , ¨World in My Corner¨ (1956) , ¨Ride a Crooked Trail¨ (1958) , ¨Medal of Honor¨ and ¨To Hell and Back¨. Support cast is frankly nice , providing splendid interpretations . Thomas Mitchell ideally cast as sheriff shows his usual delicious fair play for comedy . Lovely acting of Mari Blanchard as the stubborn Saloon girl at a similar role to previous Marlene Dietrich , she is the dance hall entertainer who sings on the bar some vintage songs , including new catchy tunes. And excellent Lyle Bettger as the crooked gambler and Lori nelson as Martha , the trusting sweetheart.

This motion picture was professionally directed by George Marshall in colorful style , though has a few flaws . He realized a great number of films , especially Westerns . His first Western was ¨Wild Gold¨(1934) and he subsequently directed ¨Destry rides again¨ with James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich in which years later he would make a remake titled ¨Frenchie¨ with Audie Murphy and Marie Blanchard . As George Marshal introduces hilarious elements and amusement in his Westerns , such as ¨Texas¨ , ¨Fancy pants¨, ¨Advance to the rear¨, and also directs Musical Westerns as ¨Red Garters¨ and ¨The second greatest sex¨ . Being particularly known for his co-direction of the epic Western ¨How the west was won¨ along with Henry Hathaway and John Ford .

This is the fourth of the quartet adaptations based on the novel by Max Brand . The novel was adapted for a Broadway musical starring Andy Griffith and opened at the April 23 , 1959 at the Imperial Theatre and ran for 472 performances . And several cinematic renditions : the first was titled by American exhibitors as ¨ Justice rides again (1932)¨ with Tom Mix and the role of Tom Destry was originally intended for Gary Cooper , but he wanted more money than the producers were willing to pay him . It was then offered to James Stewart , who took it in ¨Destry rides again¨(1939) , along with Marlene Dietrich , Charles Winninger , Thomas Mitchell ; the following version released in 1951 under title ¨ Frenchie ¨ and this fourth take on exhibited in 1954 also directed by George Marshall with Audie Murphy and Marie Blanchard in similar characters to James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich .

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