Dodge City - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dodge City Reviews

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August 30, 2016
Dodge City isn't a bad western by any means, but its really bland. From the lack of any set pieces or tension or suspense, to the lackadaisical plot that has the protagonist becoming Sheriff to clean up the town about an hour into the film. The movie lacks any uniqueness or anything to make it different from any other western, so its a lifeless piece of filmmaking, even though it has some good stars and a solid director at the helm.
½ July 14, 2016
A romantic western to say the least, but a bit over the top.
½ December 8, 2015
Dodge City

Find crime,

Find drunks

The cattle herd stampede was shocking for a 1939 film.

That and what happened to the marshal who was just carried away by criminals with everyone just watching and no one whiling to stand up and stop them.

The technicolor is stunning for a 1939 film so vibrant like the pink dresses.
Greens and blue stage saloon sets

Shows the conflict of Hooray for Dixie and Georgia after the Civil War.

Kansas Dodge City

The women against the saloon.

I've never seen a saloon fight done as big as this film.

Hang someone without going to court.

No warrant no sheriff

"Well that's the first jail I've ever seen you could not get yourself in."

Ask a last resort Errol Flynn from the Cattle business to be a sheriff for law and order to clean up a new city Dodge City.

Hatton as sheriff

It took a kid being dragged away by scared horses for Hatton to stop and become sheriff.

1879 restrict guns in a particular part of town.

Tries to bride Errol Flynn but it doesn't work.

Curffue is set for gambling none past 2:00 A.M.

Clean up of Dodge City brings new people in town.

Taxes are enforced In Dodge City.

The stunts and action in this film is out there stunning.

The sets for a Western town are fairly large compared to other Western films or shows.

This film has many people die and no one is safe from being killed in this film. Even kids can be killed. It gives the film a more emotional investment in the film.

The train on fire in one of the cars looks Amazing. I have never seen anything quit like that before in a western. Even the pistol fight in the train car with things popping off exploding is an Awesome sight to see in such a film.

Errol Flynn is not typically the character you would expect to see in a Western. in fact he almost is the least likely actor you would expect in a western but actually he does this film justice.

The jail was large, filled with lots of prisoners.
More than you may typically see in any ordinary Western.

I enjoyed the theme score to Dodge City.

I would highly recommend this film. You will be kept entertained the entire time.
November 14, 2015
From a long gone era of Hollywood, great movie making, huge production.
½ June 3, 2015
Good Errol Flynn western.

The story of a cattle agent who takes on the role of Sheriff of Dodge City, having seen its lawlessness, and decides to clean up the town. Has everything a western needs: gunfights, brawls, romance, humour and grittiness.

Not perfect: feels overly folksy at times (which one could say about many films from that era) and some sub-plots go nowhere. No big issues though.

Great performance by Errol Flynn in the lead role. Brings all his charm, swagger, energy and action-hero star power to bear.

Good support from Olivia De Havilland, Bruce Cabot and Alan Hale.
October 5, 2014
Robin Hood and his merry men go out west. Actually, it another fine Michael Curtiz directed Errol Flynn vehicle which has him taming the wild wester in the titular city. The stock company of regulars are all back, including Olivia de Havilland and Alan Hale, along with Ann Sheridan, Bruce Cabot, and Ward Bond. I'd seen this film before and enjoyed it, but I'd never actually notice that the storyline for "Blazing Saddles" appears to have largely inspired by this film. Quite a rousing little western and one of the few non-swashbuckler or war films for Flynn in the lead that I felt really worked.
April 13, 2014
The town that knows no ethics but cash and killing.

A Texas cattle rancher passing through the notorious Dodge City feels obligated to help the people just trying to make ends meet. He settles down with a girl in the town, defends the weak, and ultimately is given the position of sheriff. Can the rancher clean up the town or will he become another sad story in its history?

"Getting married has ruined a lot of good men."

Michael Curtiz, director of White Christmas, Mildred Pierce, Captain Blood, The Sea Hawks, Yankee Doodle Dandee, Four Wives, Four Daughters, We're No Angels, Breaking Point, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and Kid Galahad, delivers Dodge City. The storyline for this picture is fairly interesting and reminded me of Tombstone. The script was excellent and the characters were well presented. The cast delivers very good performances and includes Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Ann Sheridan, Bruce Cabot, and John Litel.

"There's no law west of Chicago."

I grabbed this film because it was a western with Errol Flynn and was surprised to discover it was also directed by Michael Curtiz. I enjoyed watching this picture, but it wasn't an epic classic. The characters were larger than life, and the action scenes were good, but the premise was very straightforward. I did enjoy this movie, but wouldn't add it to my collection.

"You can get more flies with molasses than you can with vinegar."

Grade: B+
December 17, 2012
Another classic film from that golden year in cinema of 1939. This rousing western stars Errol Flynn as ex-soldier, now cattle driver Wade Hatton. Yes, I said Errol Flynn..he of the swashbuckling films like Robin Hood, Captain Blood, and The Sea Hawk. And before you can say it won't work, Flynn is awesome from the get go. He is perfectly at home in a western with a six gun as he would be in Sherwood Forest flinging arrows. The story has him delivering some cattle to the wild and dangerous town of Dodge City. Along the way he also guides a wagon train through the treacherous countryside. That's where he meets Abbie Irving (played by the lovely De Havilland) and her troublesome brother. Well when her drunk brother causes a stampede and shoots at Wade, Wade shoots back and injures the kid. After that unfortunate incident Abbie has no use for wade. Finally when the wagon train arrives in Dodge City, Wade encounters the local bad guy..Jeff Surrett (played to the evil hilt by Bruce Cabot) who has a habit of killing men who he buys cattle off of and keeping the money for himself. Well Wade reluctantly agrees to become town sheriff after he sees a tragic accident and becomes Surrett's worst enemy. Eventually Abbie comes around and starts liking him too. Dodge City is a super western, staged with impressive action scenes including a wild saloon bar fight that leaves the place in shambles. The color is extraordinary and the music score is heavenly. Errol Flynn is perfectly cast as Wade as he shows that he won't take any guff from anyone. Olivia is just amazing. Every time I hear her voice, I fall in love with her. She has the most wonderful accent you will ever hear. Also Ann Sheridan, the Oommph Girl is on hand as a saloon singer who gets to belt out a couple of energetic numbers. Plus the banter between Errol and Olivia only solidifies why they were one of the best on screen couples ever. Dodge City is one of the best westerns ever to come out of Old Hollywood and I highly recommend it.
Wade Hatton: You know, out here the trail boss has sometimes even got to take the law into his own hands.
Abbie Irving: Oh, yes, pioneering I believe you call it, don't you?
½ June 5, 2012
An important film for the Western. It's certainly no STAGECOACH but it's fun.
½ June 3, 2012
Another classic from director Michael Curtiz, starring Errol Flynn. Flynn is joined by frequent costars Alan Hale and Olivia de Havilland. Everyone turns in a great performance in this fun, well-written, seemingly-based-on-Wyatt-Earp-western.
½ June 3, 2012
Old-fashion Western has a fun cast, led by the ever charismatic Errol Flynn with his customary cohorts of Olivia De Haviland and Alan Hale, but story-wise the movie tends to lag in-between action set pieces. Director Michael Curtiz has events explode into action right away with a beautiful race between a horse carriage and a train that establishes right from the onset the theme of bringing change to the American frontier. Curtiz breaks out some stunning action choreography with the barroom brawl to end them all and caps the film with a dynamic shootout and on a burning train car. When the movie shifts out of the action is where the movie heads into some trouble. Flynn may be the premiere swashbuckler of film, but as a cowboy its somewhat hard to accept. Like watching John Wayne in his two attempts at playing a cop in the 1970s, there is something jarring about watching Flynn in a cowboy hat and carrying a six-shooter instead of a saber. His charisma is intact throughout, especially with his usual cohorts, Hale and de Havilland (jaw-droppingly lovely in this film I have to say). The movie fits into the old-fashion mold now, especially with its musical number, stock of Western cliches (which admittedly were much newer then), and a lack of grit; but still allot of fun to watch.
May 23, 2012
big budget big star western from WB
April 25, 2012
The Bar Brawl was out of this just kept snowballing. I loved the fact that Alan Hale attended the ladies' temperance group, received a ribbon, then ended up in the brawl anyway. That was too funny.
½ March 30, 2012
"There's no law west of Chicago... and west of Dodge City, no God!"

Synopsis: Western centering on Wade Hatton, a cowboy who arrives in dangerous Dodge City and promptly helps lawmen round up some cattle rustlers. He's invited to help a wagon train arrive safely in Dodge City, and while he's away, bad guys take over the town.

The rise of talking pictures in the late twenties and early thirties had a dramatic effect of the landscape of the motion picture making business. With the advent of sound the desire for westerns seamed to wane, and with that diminished desire, artists turned their attention away from the western genre in favor of greener pastures (probably musicals), and the western was doomed to live a life of low budgets and limited artistic progress. Hell, even the genre master John Ford whom made a metric ton of silent westerns refused to go near a horse or wagon. That is until 1939, a year that saw great renewed interest in the western with big budgeted westerns such as "Jesse James", Ford masterwork "Stagecoach", "Union Pacific" and lastly "Dodge City". Four big budgeted "A" westerns in an era where such things were few and far between.

Dodge City is in essence a spiritual Wyatt Earp. The film documents the struggle of the city between a gang of ruffians that have permanently set up shop and the do-good new comer in town. Though the film is well written on the surface, just about all the characters in the picture are of the one dimensional variety and many set pieces seam to arise rather unnaturally. But these set pieces are well filmed and showcase the amount of kinetic energy and simple-minded escapism that can be had with a nicely budgeted western. If your looking for excitement, look no further than the western folks.

And that's basically the crux with Dodge City, it's not the great artistic achievement that was John Ford's Stagecoach released merely two month earlier. However, the film is no less a watershed that along with it's brethren released the same year, propelled the western into the sound era.
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2012
A fantastic western. Errol Flynn is magnificent, as his transition from swashbuckler to western seems effortless, and he proves he's just adept with a gun as he is with a sword. This is a must see for all western fans as it paved the way for the genre.
August 18, 2011
Anyone will like this! Wade (Flynn) is a Civil War Veteran, and comes to Dodge City for a new place to see. He finds out later on that this town is seriously dangerous, so in order to please a girl (de Havilland), he decides to become the sheriff to tame the town. As it turns out though, it's a lot harder than he thought it would be. "Dodge City" is one of the nicest looking westerns I have seen. This was one of Warner Bros. first Technicolor movies, and it looks great. The scenery looks warm and inviting with the rich colors, and the amazing location they filmed makes it even better. The countryside looks incredible, and the blue skies make you feel ready for summer. Anyways, this is really a western essential: it has epic battle scenes, a stampede, lots of shooting, train robberies, and let's not forget the classic bar fight here that was later spoofed in "Blazing Saddles". Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland were the golden couple of the '30's for action flicks and always brought in money for their studio. This was right after the success after "The Adventures of Robin Hood" which was also in Technicolor. Audiences had mostly seen Flynn dueling in sword-fights for most of the decade, and de Havilland as the damsel in distress. But here, they trade off for a gun-totting sheriff and a headstrong dame, which is a nice change. It was a popular switch for them, and it just so happens their last movie together, "They Died With Their Boots On" was also a western. Michael Curtiz as usual does a great job directing. He really did not hit it big time yet, so most people really did not know him that well. I'm sure he got recognition for this, because this is some good stuff. A lot of the filming and casting were not for beginners, and here he shows how superb he is at his job. He makes the most of what he has, and I love when directors do that! It shows loads of talent. "Dodge City" is a fun, important movie that anyone should spend their time watching.
July 10, 2011
[80/B] Great, wide-open old school entertainment from the glory days of Hollywood's Golden Age, an early Technicolor Western that helped revitalize the genre back in 1939. Errol Flynn may seem an unlikely cowboy-turned-sheriff (especially playing an Irishman, with an Australian accent, to boot), but his star power is so assured and cool and winning, one easily lets the incongruence slide in favor of all the dusty fun of watching him and his frequent costars Alan Hale and Olivia de Havilland stride and ride across this big colorful picture, chock full of classic Western strophes and iconic archetypes.

There are a few iffy lines where Dodge City shows its obvious superannuation, but overall its done with professional relish by all involved, including a wild, rollicking saloon super-brawl, and several scenes of absolutely ravishing Western imagery. One of the greats of its time.
½ May 9, 2011
Mediocre story about a random guy who becomes a sheriff and purges the town from corruption and crime. Michael Curtiz's personal touch can be felt and Errol Flynn's presence is enough to make Dodge City a fun movie to watch.
April 24, 2011
Trailblazer Wade Hatton (Errol Flynn) is proud to be part of the railroad's westward expansion to Kansas after the Civil War, but is less impressed to find what a lawless place Dodge City has become in the few years he's spent driving cattle and running wagon trains. He delivers the young Miss Abby Irving (Olivia de Havilland) to her uncle Dr. Irving (Henry Travers) in Dodge City after her drunk, irresponsible brother is killed in a stampede along the trail. When he learns the town is now under the control of his old enemy and double-dealing crook Jeff Surrett, he decides to stick around. He ends up confronting Surrett to protect his trusty sidekick Rusty (Alan Hale), and is asked by the true citizenry of Dodge City to take over the position of sheriff, a role he is reluctant to take on until a young boy ends up dying during crossfire in the streets. Sheriff Hatton quickly goes about making the whole town quiet and civilized and taxed into submission, drawing hordes of new settlers. And Wade begins to focus on wooing the headstrong Abby, now a newspaperwoman, and ends up having to protect her as his sole witness in his court case against Surrett. The whole thing comes to a head when Surrett tries to save one of his men who's a prisoner of Wade's being transported to trial. Wade manages to shoot them all as they try to ride to safety, and so on to the next adventure for the lawman and his girl.
Any film directed by Michael Curtiz (three years pre-Casablanca) and reuniting Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn (one year post-Robin Hood) and made during Hollywood's golden year of 1939 has to have some merit to it. As a western, it certainly has all the necessary elements: wild-west town, wagon train, buffalo herds and cattle stampedes, gunfights, bar brawls, church women and loose women, good guys and bad guys, and riding off into the sunset. And Curtiz certainly has an eye for it all, keeping the action going. There's nothing unique about the acting, with Flynn playing exactly to type, as always portraying a much better human being than he actually was. De Havilland is stuck in a underdeveloped role, Hale provides the comic relief, the villains are suitably slithery and unsympathetic, and the few African-American actors are abysmally stereotyped (Jesus, Hollywood in the 1930s was racist).
Overall, a predictably rousing and well-directed, albeit not particularly memorable, western.
February 8, 2011
A fun old-school western but not one you can take at all seriously, mainly because of Errol Flynn. Whereas the likes of John Wayne and Gary Cooper looked right as cowboys, Flynn has the inescapable look of a movie star dressed as a cowboy. It reminded me of Marty McFly in Back to the Future; if Flynn walked into a saloon full of real cowboys he'd probably be laughed at and referred to as being 'duded up'. But ignore that fact and this is a decent film that holds up well for its age. It's certainly 'of its time' but doesn't look over 70 years old and is far better than say Santa Fe Trail that Flynn made the following year, which seems terribly dated and looks appalling by comparison.
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