Saturday, October 16, 2010

Retro Western Excitement: Dodge City (1939) starring Errol Flynn

Some years ago I spent a considerable amount of time researching the great Errol Flynn’s life. This resulted in a few magazine articles and eventually a biography published in 2004. I am proud to have been at the forefront of a revival of interest in Flynn’s career, a revival that continues to this day. I have been consistent in stating that Flynn’s first western, Dodge City, is a classic. Dodge City is given scant attention by fans, scholars, and bloggers. Too much is made of the fact that Flynn stated he felt miscast in Westerns. He was effective in these roles and the films were fun. Give Dodge City another look.  The film’s elements will seem familiar because after this its many iconic scenes were emulated in thousands of westerns. Dodge City set the standard high and remains a fine example of “filmmaking as entertainment” par excellent. A cattle stampede, a saloon brawl, a gunfight on a train, galloping horses and blazing six-shooters. All in Technicolor with a Max Steiner score. Flynn, Olivia De Havilland, Alan Hale, Guinn Williams, and Bruce Cabot and Victor Jory as the bad guys. Flynn’s other westerns are: Virginia City (1940), Santa Fe Trail (1940), They Died With Their Boots On (1942), San Antonio (1945), Silver River (1948), Montana (1950) and Rocky Mountain (1950). For an in-depth look at Dodge City and the now legendary press junket find a copy of my book Errol Flynn: The Life and Career published by McFarland Publishers. Visit their website HERE 


  1. I love to watch Dodge City! If I see it on TV (I also have the DVD) I am hooked all over again! If you want to read the best book on Flynn yet penned, go read Errol Flynn: The Life and Career by Tom McNulty...

  2. Thanks David. As usual you are overly kind, but I appreciate it! I think Robert Matzen wrote a great book and there are a few in the works I am really looking forward to. Stay well, pardner, and I'll see you again on Mulholland Drive with a certain film director named Jack Marino and company!

  3. Tom! I saw a vintage ad for Dodge City in one of the local antique shops and naturally I had to buy it. These ad were one-of-a-kind printings and are quite collectible these days. Wonderfully done, they appeared just once in most cases and have quite a following among collectors on ebay and other sites these days. Bung ho, Sport!


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