“We’re the public disgrace of America.”
A wagon train driver (Errol Flynn) falls for the beautiful sister (Olivia de Havilland) of an immature young man (William Lundigan) who is accidentally killed in a cattle stampede. Meanwhile, he reluctantly agrees to become sheriff of a town dominated by a corrupt cattle buyer (John Cabot).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Ann Sheridan Films
- Errol Flynn Films
- Michael Curtiz Films
- Olivia de Havilland Films
Errol Flynn made his western debut in this competently directed (by Michael Curtiz) yet narratively predictable oater about a reluctant sheriff taking over the lawless frontier town of Dodge City, Kansas. Flynn handles his role well, and the Technicolor cinematography is gorgeous — but as DVD Savant puts it so bluntly in his review, Dodge City “can only be described as a big-studio superwestern, an attempt to put a fancy wrapper on the same themes as had been playing out in cheap series oaters for thirty years.” A similar storyline was handled with greater panache in Jacques Tourneur’s Wichita (1955), which is recommended instead.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Sal Polito and Ray Rennahan’s cinematography
No, though it’s certainly worth a look by Western fans.