Destry Rides Again is anything but a super-western. It’s just plain, good entertainment [from an original story by Felix Jackson suggested by Max Brand’s novel], primed with action and laughs and human sentiment.
Marlene Dietrich’s work as the hardened, ever-scrapping ginmill entertainer serves pretty much as the teeterboard from which this picture flips itself from the level of the ordinary western into a class item.
This gangster fable with an early West background revolves for the most part around the rowdy, gaudy ginmill and dancehall which Brian Donlevy operates in the frontier town of Bottle Neck. With the aid of his No. 1 entertainer (Dietrich), Donlevy cuts a wide swath cheating the townsmen at cards and working a waterhole racket until he makes the mistake of appointing the town rumpot (Charles Winniger) the local sheriff.