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Monday, 23 July 2012

Dodge City - Star of the month... Olivia de Havilland

'Dodge City' is a 1939 western starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland and directed by Michael Curtiz. 
Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn
in their first Western
The supporting cast includes Ann Sheridan (who had just joined Warner Bros. from Paramount), Bruce Cabot, Victor Jory, Frank McHugh, William Lundigan and of course it wouldn't be an Errol Flynn film without Alan Hale.

This was Errol Flynn's first western, establishing him as a western star in addition to being a swashbuckler.

It is 1806 and the Civil War has just ended. Captain Dodge (played by Henry O'Neill) has arrived to open a new railroad line linking Doge City to the rest of the world. A few years later, Dodge City's crime rate is out of control and being taken over by villains, thieves and gunmen. The town need to worry, as of course Errol Flynn arrives to save the day.

Wade Hatton (played by Flynn) comes to town with Abbie Irving (played by de Havilland). Abbie does not like Wade, as she holds him responsible for her brother's death during a stampede. After being asked to clean up the town and make it safe, Wade initially declines. However after the death of a child he agrees to become Sheriff. 

Dodge City is the place for a premiere

Held in the real town of Dodge City, the premiere for 'Dodge City' was quite an event. Attracting a crowd of over 150,000, the premiere began with over 200 Warner Bros. cast and crew members arriving on an old fashioned steam train. The major Warner Bros. stars then disembarked the train, and mounted a horse for a celebrity rodeo. To cater for the crowds, the film premiered in three different cinemas at the same time.

Watch some footage from the premiere:

Did you know...

  • This was the 1st of 8 Errol Flynn western films
  • This was the 5th of 9 films co-starring Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn

Closing remarks

A highly enjoyable and entertaining western from the opening credits through to the fiery climax on the train. I think it may be because it contains all the traditional cliched western elements, though it wasn't cliched at the time. The western film genre began to surface and mature in the late 1930s. Prior to this westerns were often very low budget films. As great as this film is, the one thing out of place is Flynn's Australian accent in the wild west. I think the reason why this stood for out for me as I am also Australian, and it sounded a little odd to hear the Australian accent in the American west during 1800s. An outstanding performance by child actor Bobs Watson as the young boy, Harry Cole.


  1. I enjoyed reading your blog. I don't remember the film but I will try and watch it as it sounds like a good movie to me.

  2. Thanks for your lovely comment. Out of interest, how did you find my blog?