Berlin Festival Completes Classics Lineup With Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart Western

Destry Rides Again
Universal Pictures

A restored version of George Marshall's 1939 'Destry Rides Again' will screen in the festival sidebar, alongside classics from Norway, Germany, Hungary, Denmark and South Korea.

Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart will take off for the horizon once again in a newly restored version of George Marshall's rip-roaring Western Destry Rides Again, which will unspool at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival as part of its Berlinale Classics lineup.

Stewart plays the pacifist son of a hard-nosed sheriff who gets the job of taming a wild frontier town after his father is shot in the back by an unknown assailant. Dietrich is Frenchy, a sassy cabaret girl plying her trade at the Bloody Gulch Saloon. Interpreted by many as a comment on U.S. appeasement policy toward the Third Reich — Stewart's character refuses to carry a gun despite being a crack shot — Destry Rides Again is acknowledged as one of the enduring classics of the era. The 1939 feature was restored by Universal Pictures in collaboration with Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation.

This year's Berlinale Classics lineup will also include The Wayward Girl, the 1959 feature from Norwegian director Edith Carlmar starring Liv Ullmann in her first lead role. From Korea, Im Kwon-taek’s 1980 political drama Pursuit of Death, about a South Korean officer who spends 30 years trying to track down a former North Korean guerrilla fighter, will get a fresh outing in Berlin. The Korean Film Archive restored the director's 35 mm original negative in 2K.

The other three films in the 2019 Berlinale Classics lineup, all previously announced, include Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1955 Danish drama The Word; the 1975 Hungarian feature Adoption from director Marta Meszaros; and The Invincibles, a German drama from 1994 helmed by director Dominik Graf.

The Berlinale Classics section is part of the Berlin International Film Festival, which runs Feb. 7-17.