After the end of her partnership with Josef von Sternberg, Dietrich didn't regain her professional stride until 1939, when she was cast as a roistering bar hostess in the spoof Western, Destry Rides Again. Here, two films later, she's playing a variation on the role: an émigré adventuress with a dubious past in St Petersburg, trying to pose as a countess in New Orleans, torn between a 'sensible' marriage and her wild passion for the butch young captain of a Mississippi steamer. This was the first of the four films that Clair directed in Hollywood during his wartime exile from France, and he was clearly content to swim with the tide: he simply films the formulary but entertaining script, with a minimum of directorial touches. It is, of course, Dietrich who carries it.
Cast and crew
Laura Hope Crews