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Dodge City

Released Apr 1, 1939 1h 44m Western List
100% Tomatometer 14 Reviews 75% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings In 1872, Dodge City, Kansas is the epicenter of cattle drives and lawlessness. Run by Jeff Surrett (Bruce Cabot), Dodge City isn't safe for anyone or anything. When Wade Hatton (Errol Flynn) arrives for a cattle drive, he's moved by the violent death of a young boy to take up the post of sheriff and take back the town from Surrett and his cohorts. But first he must contend with the rowdy townsfolk who, having been so long without law, desire to take the law into their own hands. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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Critics Reviews

View All (14) Critics Reviews
Walter Goodman New York Times ''Dodge City,'' Michael Curtiz's rousing 1939 oater about the civilizing of the ''wide-open Babylon of the American West,'' has everything... Jan 9, 2018 Full Review Jeremiah Kipp Slant Magazine A well-crafted and perfectly capable western. Rated: 3/4 Apr 22, 2005 Full Review Danielle Solzman Solzy at the Movies Dodge City is part of a number of Westerns that would define and reset the genre for several years to come. Rated: 4/5 Apr 21, 2023 Full Review Tim Brayton Alternate Ending A big splashy Hollywood spectacle, with gorgeous sets and a riot of colors in the costumes and wide-open skies. Rated: 4/5 Jul 4, 2018 Full Review Michael E. Grost Classic Film and Television Rousing, entertaining Western, with an anti-dictatorship, pro-democracy theme. May 17, 2017 Full Review Matt Brunson Creative Loafing Dodge City spirited Errol Flynn away from his swashbuckling milieu and into a Wild West setting, and the match proved so natural that the Australian actor found himself cast in several more sagebrush sagas over the ensuing years. Rated: 3.5/4 Jun 11, 2015 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Audience Member Still not a big fan of Earl Flynn as a person but as a actor, he did do a good job in this and I will recommend it, James Welch, Henderson, Arkansas, August 9, 2023 Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 08/09/23 Full Review christopher c. m You can tell that this was done during a time of right winged ideals polluting public thinking. Any character that is slightly less than Saintly was EVIL! The Saloon, where people drank the devil's water, gambled and hookers. Also randomly murders people for sometimes for no reason or to because getting in the way of any endeavor, even the legal ones. But ignoring the moral of being only super pure people are good and any vice makes you the devil aside. This feels like one of the first real western geared for adults. Where the early John Wayne westerns not too longer before felt more like a kid's shows. The cast works in their parts. The performances are great. Even the comic relief which was the only flawed but not evil character was good. He was funny without being annoying. A great if preachy early western. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Michael Curtiz directed this large-scale western. Color is used to great effect in this early experiment with the new process. For the first half of the film, while characters and storyline are being established, the Technicolor palette is restrained, keeping mostly to browns and ochres. As Errol Flynn's character, Wade Hatton, emerges as the hero, color begins to reinforce meaning. Wade wears a succession of impressive shirts (prussian blue, plum). Others wear plaid, but Wade's shirts are each of a single hue, emphasizing his monolithic moral certainty. Wade is a bigger man than the others, and he wears a bigger hat. Dodge is a wild cattle town. The railhead for transport back to the 'civilized' United States, it is the point to which Texan cattle are driven. The interface of rail and hoof is significant. When the cowpokes hit town after weeks on the trail they have a strong inclination to kick up their heels, and bulging pay packets with which to do it. There is no effective law in Dodge, and gunfights are commonplace. Powerful cattle dealers like Jeff Surrett (Bruce Cabot) cheat the merchants with impunity. Dodge City needs a strong, principled man if it is to change its lawless ways. The film's opening image is a train hurtling westward at full throttle, a symbol of the burgeoning industrial strength of the USA, and of the Manifest Destiny which is already turning America's energies towards the Pacific and obliterating the frontier. We see the train slicing across the magnificent Kansas plains, and 'racing' the stagecoach. Machines are supplanting horses, and the train wins the race. Olivia de Havilland is at her wide-eyed prettiest as Abbie Erving, the young woman who treks north with the cattle and eventually falls in love with the handsome sherriff. Flynn is an aussie actor playing an Irishman in Kansas, and both he and de Havilland are terrific as the romantic leads. A young Ann Sheridan plays Ruby the showgirl, Alan Hale is Rusty the abstemious cowhand and Ward Bond is Taylor the minor baddie. Victor Jory has fun playing Yancey, the mean ornery villain with the straggly beard. Wade Hatton personifies the American Way. An immigrant who has done well for himself by dint of hard work, sharp intelligence and plenty of talent, he is fearless when it comes to protecting the weak or righting wrongs. When the call comes to pin on a badge and restore law and order to Dodge City, he doesn't hesitate. Wade stands up to an angry lynch mob, even though the 'victim' is a worthless crook. A liberal alliance between the new sherriff and the town's newspaper proposes to bring down the evil Surrett. The newspaper's office has a portrait of Abe Lincoln on the wall. Appropriately, a killer is brought to justice because his hand is stained with indelible printer's ink - serving notice on all bad guys that the Press will always be there to expose wrongdoing. The clowning is well done. Watch for the cowpoke who has his head driven against a post, or Flynn athletically tripping, falling and being hit in the back by a swing door. Rusty preaches temperance, but is gradually overcome by the tempting sounds of the saloon punch-up. Wade's clean-up policy is depicted skillfully in the scene where a newspaper headline dissolves into the arrival of peaceful settlers by train, showing us neatly how Dodge is being tamed. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Audience Member Flynn puts down his cutlass and straps on a six gun! He proved he had versatile acting chops in the 1939, excellent western. Paired again with his silver screen sweetheart Olivia DeHaviland and Warner Bros corral of fine supporting actors, he romps through his role as sheriff hired to clean up a rowdy cow town. Dodge City was instrumental in popularizing the western genre. A rare gem. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review ashley h Dodge City is an excellent film. It is about a Texas cattle agent witnesses who the brutal lawlessness of Dodge City first hand and takes the job of sheriff to clean the town up. Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland give amazing performances. The screenplay is well written. Michael Curtiz did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this movie because of the action and drama. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member EXCELLENT WESTERN WITH FLYNN IN TOP FORM! What makes DODGE CITY so unique is Errol Flynn's presence as a former Irish soldier turned Tough but good natured Sheriff, given the star to enforce the lawless Dodge City. Here Flynn became the Atypical Cowboy, despite him doing what movie Cowboys usually do (gunfighting, derring-do, mounting Horses, etc), because of his being the dashing Tasmanian Swashbuckler Hollywood had picked up in 1935 for film CAPTAIN BLOOD. Here in 1939, being the great year in cinema, Flynn does a rather convincing job as a heroic wild west cowboy. Olivia de Havilland makes her fourth outing with Flynn, acting & looking Lovely as ever in splendid Technicolor. Max Steiner's stirring score, exciting action including a shootout on a flaming Train, and the use of Technicolor photography makes DODGE CITY an irresistible Western. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/14/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis In 1872, Dodge City, Kansas is the epicenter of cattle drives and lawlessness. Run by Jeff Surrett (Bruce Cabot), Dodge City isn't safe for anyone or anything. When Wade Hatton (Errol Flynn) arrives for a cattle drive, he's moved by the violent death of a young boy to take up the post of sheriff and take back the town from Surrett and his cohorts. But first he must contend with the rowdy townsfolk who, having been so long without law, desire to take the law into their own hands.
Director
Michael Curtiz
Producer
Robert Lord, Hal B. Wallis
Screenwriter
Robert Buckner
Production Co
Warner Brothers/Seven Arts
Genre
Western
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Apr 1, 1939, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
Sep 1, 2008
Runtime
1h 44m
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