Destry Rides Again

1939 film by George Marshall

Destry Rides Again is a 1939 film about an unscrupulous saloon owner who has his town's sheriff killed and appoints the town drunk to replace him, thinking he will be easy to control. Instead, he enlists the aid of the son of a famous lawman to help him bring law and order to the town.

Directed by George Marshall. Written by Felix Jackson, Henry Myers, and Gertrude Purcell.
They make the fighting sinful west blaze into action before your eyes! (taglines)


  • [about the saloon customers] The longer they wait, the better they like it.

Tom Destry, Jr.

  • [to Frenchy, as she throws bottles at him] You sure have a knack of makin' a stranger feel right at home, ma'am. Nice knowin' ya.
  • Nobody's gonna set themselves up above the law around here. You understand? I've got somethin' to say to you. I think maybe I can illustrate it a little better if I told you a story. I used to have a friend that was an Opry singer. But he went into the cement business. And one day, he fell into the cement. And now he's the cornerstone of the post office in St. Louis, Missouri. He should have stuck to his own trade. You'd better stick to yours.


Kent: Nice work, honey.
Frenchy: Practice makes perfect.
Kent: Well that does it. This gives us a solid strip of land right across the valley.
Frenchy: And what do we do now?
Cowboy: Nothin', until those cattlemen try to drive their herds through without payin'.
Bugs: How many steers will come through?
Kent: Last year, there were 350,000. Now if we charge 'em twenty-five cents a head, that makes...$87,500.
Bugs: Now that's money.
Frenchy: We're rich!
Gyp: I'll get my gal's teeth plugged with diamonds and just set and watch her smile. [Frenchy stuffs the signed-over deed to the land into her low-cut dress]
Kent: [as he grabs the paper] I'll take care of that.
Frenchy: [She takes some gold coins from the poker game and drops them down the front of her dress] I'd rather have cash - in the bank.

Frenchy: I still serve the best coffee in Bottleneck.
Slade: What did Keogh have on his mind?
Frenchy: Oh, he was just getting a little curious about that real-estate business.
Slade: I think I'll have to buy an option on his curiosity. [Two shots are heard from upstairs]
Frenchy: I think you'll have to buy yourself a whole new sheriff - if you can find one.

Dimsdale: Then I'm off the liquor. A man has gotta choose between the bottle and the badge.
Bartender: Aw, he didn't say that, or did he?
Dimsdale: Shut up, you fools. But I'm tellin' you, this town of Bottleneck has gotta respect law and order or I'll put everybody in jail.
Slade: The Sheriff's right. Now you can see why I chose such a strong-minded man.
Kent: We're all with ya, Sheriff. If you need any help, I'll be your deputy.

Dimsdale: I want a deputy like I was when Destry was my boss. Why we handled a much tougher and ornery crowd than I see present. Why when we started shootin', they ran out of town so fast, the breeze from their coat-tails set off a scythe of a windmill.
Frenchy: But Destry is dead.
Cowboy: That makes him the right man for the job.
2nd Cowboy: Saves us a lot of trouble.
Dimsdale: Is that so? Well, young Tom ain't dead and his father brought him up to be the toughest and fighting-est man that ever growed up in the West. He ain't got as big a name as his pa, but he cleaned up Tombstone. And I'm sendin' for him to be my deputy. And when he gets here, Destry will ride again!

Wash: Everybody's laughin' at ya. Tom, you made an impression on this town that's got to be eradicated right now.
Destry: Oh now, Wash, don't you think them first impressions are darn fool things to jump at, though?
Wash: Around here, you gotta jump first or you don't live long.

Kent: Mr. Destry, before we start drinking, I think you and me oughta come to an understanding.
Destry: Well, I'm all for folks understandin' each other. That's a mighty fine idea, Mr. Kent.
Kent: I'm glad you agree with me. So I'll start by telling you that I have a very peculiar hobby.
Destry: So have I. Mine's carvin' napkin rings. What's yours?
Kent: Mine's collectin' deputy sheriff's guns. [The saloon empties out] Whenever I meet a new deputy, I always ask him for his gun. And I ask 'em real nice.
Destry: Well, I'm sorry Mr. Kent, I'm afraid this here's one gun your collection's gonna be minus.
Kent: You mean I'm gonna have to take it?
Destry: If you can. Now hold on, hold on. Don't get excited here. I was just tryin' to tell ya that I ain't got any guns. You see, if I would have had a gun there, why, one of us might have got hurt - and it might have been me. I wouldn't like that, would I? [Kent laughs]
Bugs: Tweet, tweet. I'm a canary. Where's my cage?
Gyp: It's gettin' sunny. Where's my parasol?
Kent: Folks - seems like we got a deputy that knows what's good for him. If he don't carry a gun, he can't get into any trouble. And if anybody comes to you, you come to Uncle.
Destry: I'll remember that, Mr. Kent.
Kent: What'll you have, deputy? [They turn and face the bar]
Loupgerou: Milk?
Destry: Yeah, I think I will.
Frenchy: [hands Destry a broom and a wooden bucket full of water] I can see now how you cleaned up Tombstone. You can start right here - and don't forget the corners.

Lily Belle: Hey you, give me those pants. [She grabs them from Frenchy] And from now on, you leave my husband alone!
Frenchy: I don't want your husband, Mrs. Callahan. All I want is his money - and his pants.
Lily Belle: And how did you get 'em? By makin' eyes at him while you cheat? You gilded-lily you!
Frenchy: But Mrs. Callahan, you know that he would rather be cheated by me than married to you.
Lily Belle: What did you say?
Frenchy: You heard me.
Lily Belle: That's what I thought you said.
[They fight]

Wash: What in tarnation do you believe in?
Destry: Law and order.
Wash: Without guns?
Destry: Without 'em!
Wash: Well, if that don't beat all, let go. Oh Tom, the reason they made me sheriff here is because I was the town drunk. They wanted someone they could kick around, someone who wouldn't ask questions. But I was aimin' to fool 'em, do things right, sendin' for you. And now, you fooled me.
Destry: Well, you will fool 'em, Wash. We'll fool 'em together.
Wash: The only way to do that is fill 'em full of lead.
Destry: No, no, no, what for? You shoot it out with 'em and for some reason or other, I don't know why, they get to look like heroes. But you put 'em behind bars and they look little and cheap, the way they oughta look. And that serves as a warnin' for the rest of 'em to keep away.
Wash: Oh that won't work here in Bottleneck. You go on home and I'll go back to bein' the town drunk. That's all I'm good for.
Destry: Now you're not goin' back to bein' the town drunk and I'm gonna stay here and do this job I come for. My pa did it the old way and I'm gonna do it a new way. And if I don't prove to you that I'm right, I'll get out of town quick enough, don't worry. But first you got to give me a chance, Wash. You've got to give me a chance on this thing...Now come on, come on, swear me in, Sheriff.

Wash: Look at this post. Soaked through and through with the blood of Saw-tooth Magee. Yeah, he objected to a petticoat a neighbor's wife was wearing and they fit to a draw. Both buried in the same grave.
Destry: It's all due to the petticoat.
Wash: No, Saw-tooth and the neighbor and four innocent bystanders. You gotta listen to reason or get out of town.
Destry: Aw, I think I'll stick around. You know, I had a friend once who used to collect postage stamps. He always said the one good thing about a postage stamp - it always sticks to one thing 'til it gets there, you know. I'm sort of like that too.

Destry: I've seen hundreds like you all the way from Jacksonville to Sacramento. And you all think easy pickin's will last forever.
Frenchy: You'd better mind your own business or you're heading for trouble.
Destry: Trouble is my business.
Frenchy: Well, you'll have plenty from me. I do as I like in this town - understand? And anyone who gets in my way is taken care of.
Destry: Like they took care of Keogh?
Frenchy: Yes, just like that.
Destry: That's what I thought.
Frenchy: What do you think you're going to do?
Destry: Don't get scared.
Frenchy: I'm not scared of anything, and you keep your mouth shut and get out of town before it's too late for you.
Destry: Oh now come on, I don't think you're half as bad as you make out to be.
Frenchy: Never mind what I am.
Destry: I'll bet you've got kind of a lovely face under all that paint, huh? Why don't you wipe it off someday and have a good look - and figure out how you can live up to it.

Frenchy: I wanted to see you before I left...I'm just tired of Bottleneck - the whole crowd and everything I've been doing. So I'm going back to New Orleans.
Destry: Well, the folks are all gonna miss you around here. All except a few wives, I suppose.
Frenchy: What about you?
Destry: Me too.
Frenchy: It's wonderful this time of year. You'd like it there. How about it? [Three gun shots ring out] No Tom, you can't go out there! They know all about the federal judge! They'll kill you if you go down the stairs! Stay here, Tom!

Wash: [after having been shot in the back] Well Tom, they came.
Destry: Now don't do any talkin' now, just rest.
Wash: I'll talk if I wanna - for a little while, anyway.
Destry: All right, if you wanna talk.
Wash: I'll bet you knew a fellow once who did something like falling asleep when he oughta kept awake. Didn't ya, huh?
Destry: Yeah, I knew a fella that lived down around Wichita. He was a ...well you see, he tried to keep awake one night when he was gonna catch a stage over to a nearby town and he had a girl over there he was courtin'...
Wash: A man must be an awful fool to get shot in the back....
Destry: Wait a minute, you know, that's how they shot my father. They didn't dare face him either.
Wash: They didn't give us a chance, did they?
Destry: No.
Wash: Oh, I'm sleepy, plumb-tuckered out.


  • They make the fighting sinful west blaze into action before your eyes!
  • THE GREATEST CAST EVER CORRALLED for a frontier drama like you've NEVER seen in all your born days!


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