Berlinale: Programme

Film File

Berlinale Classics

Destry Rides Again

Der große Bluff

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A small western town is terrorised by an unscrupulous swindler and his gang. The new deputy sheriff in town seems useless – he carries no weapons and sticks strictly to the letter of the law. It is not until one of his closest allies is murdered that he has a change of heart … After making seven films with director Josef von Sternberg and a number of flops, Marlene Dietrich radically changed her image with this film. As a shady saloon singer, she doesn’t play on her ethereal beauty, but instead gives us a woman who knows how to assert herself – both in a catfight and in a clinch with deputy Tom Destry. Her appearance in the 1939 film served a just cause; Destry Rides Again is more than just a style-setting western comedy. The film was released in theatres immediately following Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland, with an unvarnished message cautioning against US appeasement policy towards the Third Reich. In addition to Marlene Dietrich, prominent Jewish émigrés also worked on the production, including Felix Jackson (born Joachimson, screenplay), Friedrich Holländer (songs, music) and Joseph (Joe) Herman Pasternak (producer).

George Marshall

USA 1939


95’ · Black/White · 4K DCP

World premiere of the digitally restored version in 4K DCP

Rating R16


Marlene Dietrich
James Stewart
Mischa Auer
Charles Winninger
Brian Donlevy
Allen Jenkins
Warren Hymer


George Marshall
Felix Jackson, Gertrude Purcell, Henry Myers, based on a story by Felix Jackson suggested by the novel “Destry Rides Again” by Max Brand
Hal Mohr
Milton Carruth
Frank Skinner
Bernard B. Brown
Art Director
Jack Otterson
Vera West
Joe Pasternak

World Sales

Universal Pictures

DCP: Universal Pictures, Universal City, CA