Destry Rides Again
George Marshall's 1939 Destry Rides Again is the oldest of Universal's westerns to yet show up on DVD, and it's been very nicely preserved, to judge from the results -- not only the picture, which is deep and detailed throughout, but the sound, which is clear and sharp, and mastered at an unexpectedly high volume for a film of this age; that attribute comes in especially handy when Marlene Dietrich sings a song. The picture is still a tiny bit darker than one would consider ideal, but it's so superior to the laserdisc release, and to any television presentation that this reviewer has seen in recent years as to be virtually beyond reproach. The print is clean enough so that one can fully appreciate the deliberately exaggerated bumping of the stagecoach ride in chapter 6, see Charles Winninger's reflection in the window he's standing in front of at 23 minutes in, and make out the fabric in every suit of clothes worn in the picture -- it's hard to criticize mastering like that. The 95 minute movie has been programmed with 20 chapters that are well named and well chosen. The disc opens automatically on a simple three-selection menu with the "Play" selection in the default position. There is no trailer or other special features, apart from a selection of English, Spanish, and French subtitles.