From the Film Vault

From the Film Vault Blog

Program Notes: Destry Rides Again (1939)

Destry Rides Again movie poster

In many regards, Destry Rides Again is a boilerplate oater: a new sheriff in town goes up against the crook who runs the place. Not terribly original. But the film is hugely enjoyable for one reason: James Stewart in the title role.

Program Notes: Union Pacific (1939)

Union Pacific movie poster

Cecil B. DeMille didn’t do anything halfway. Consider the hoopla orchestrated for the premiere of his 1939 film Union Pacific, a big Western about the race to complete the first trans-continental railroad.

Program Notes: Jesse James (1939)

Jesse James movie poster

You don’t watch the Tyrone Power/Henry Fonda version of Jesse James for an accurate history lesson. Back in 1939, though, audiences were all about a romantic Jesse James, and this Henry King-directed Western delivered.

Program Notes: Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

Drums Along the Mohawk movie poster

Drums Along the Mohawk often gets overlooked among John Ford's films. Which is a real shame, since it’s a strong effort that dovetails seamlessly with Ford’s recurring theme of what it means to be an American.

Program Notes: Dodge City (1939)

Dodge City movie poster

Depending upon how you choose to view it, Dodge City is either a quintessential Western or a shameless collection of cowboy clichés. Most of all it features the cinematic three-way of director Michael Curtiz and stars Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.