All this talent and labor has been squandered on a conventional Western story written by Leonard Gershe and based on a story by Max Brand. There are times when it seems to be a cartoon on the Western stencil. It seems to be poking fun at itself, hoping to have its cake and eat it also. ~ Brooks Atkinson. New York Times.
Destry Rides Again is a comedy and could easily be played for full blown camp, ala Blazing Saddles. Still Deputy Destry and the two unfortunate sheriffs carry a kernel of drama. Jimmy Stewart’s Destry refused to carry a gun… until he did… in the 1939 film. Andy Griffith’s Destry tricks the villain into betraying his henchmen, who take swift revenge.
While Destry drives the plot the redemptive arc goes to Frenchy. Legend has it that the diva-tastic Dolores Gray’s temper kept her from achieving full stardom. In Destry Rides Again she got a dandy vehicle that featured her in nine songs. Marlene Dietrich died in Stewart’s arms but Gray got to walk with him into the sunset.