Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The third and (as of 1998) final film version of Max Brand's Destry Rides Again, this 1954 Audie Murphy vehicle owes more to the 1939 Jimmy Stewart version than it does to the Brand original. Murphy plays Tom Destry, the peace-loving son of a notorious gunslinger. Destry is summoned to a wide-open western town in hopes that he can stem the villainies of saloon owner Decker (Lyle Bettger) and crooked mayor Sellers (Edgar Buchanan). Though he prefers to talk rather than slap leather, Destry manages to keep the bad guys at bay. But when his best friend, town-drunk-turned-sheriff Rags Barnaby (Thomas Mitchell), is killed by Decker's minions, Destry straps on the shootin' irons and goes to work. Mari Blanchard essays the Marlene Dietrich role as vacillating saloon-hall chirp Brandy, while Lori Nelson is the "good"girl with whom Destry ultimately settles down. Though most of the highlights of Destry -- including the all-girl saloon brawl -- are lifted bodily from 1939's Destry Rides Again, the 1954 film lacks the light touch of the earlier picture, despite the fact that comedy craftsman George Marshall directed both pictures.
bad-guy, bar [pub], conflict, cowboy, dance [art], dance-hall-girl, deputy, evil, good-guy, humiliation, marshal, pacifism, respect, sheriff, songwriter, taming, target [object of attack], town