Hopalong Cassidy Returns (1936)
When a miner is murdered before he can file his claim, Editor Saunders sends for Hoppy. Now the new Marshal, Hoppy learns Lilli Marsh owns the murdered miner's claim and her henchman Blackie was the killer. After Hoppy and the ranchers take care of Blackie's gang, Hoppy goes alone to face Blackie and Lilli.- Written by Maurice VanAuken <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The seventh entry of the "Hopalong Cassidy" films appears to be in need of clearing up some errors and, to be polite, misconceptions now on site regarding this film; The "uncredited" attribute for Adolph Zukor as the Presenter is incorrect. On the original(before re-issue prints) film, Adolph Zukor was listed above the title on the film and also on all of the original advertising material as "Adolph Zukor Presents"; the only connection George A Hirliman has with this film is it was part of a group of Cassidy films he bought for re-issue through Screen Guild as Goodwill Productions, and he politely replaced the original-print credit frames with a remade credit frame naming himself as the presenter (which was not totally untrue based on the circumstances, but he only got there via the reissue route), and also had the credits redone to show George "Gabby" Hayes as a selling point, as this film was made long before George Hayes ever dreamed of being known as "Gabby" Hayes, and the original credits billed him as George Hayes; while this is possibly one of the most brutal and gritty films in the series, it DOES NOT open (as reported in a site summary) featuring a cripple being bound, gagged and thrown from a cliff. The murder of the crippled newspaper editor, Robert Saunders, happens well into the film when villain Blackie Felton is on horseback, throws a rope over Saunders, in his wheelchair, and drags him and the wheelchair through the street and crashes the chair and occupant into the back of a wagon; assistant director V. O. Smith billed as U.O. Smith is, like the vast majority of AKA names, strictly a printing typo. Jimmy Ellison's Johnny Nelson character was replaced in this film by William Janney as Cassidy's kid brother Buddy, as Ellison was occupied elsewhere as Buffalo Bill in Cecil B. Demille's "The Plainsman." The film basically opens with miner Peg-Leg Holden (Irving Bacon, and John "Peg-Leg" Wallace in long shots) mouthing off to Lilli Marsh in her Crystal Slipper saloon about an unrecorded strike he has just made, and it isn't long, thanks to her hirelings Bob Claiborne and Blackie Felton, before Holden is dispatched and Lilli now is the possessor of the now-recorded claim. The wheel-chair bound crusading newspaper editor Robert Saunders summons his old friend Hopalong Cassidy to Mesa Grande (which can be semi-translated to Big Table but that is not the name of the town as reported on site in a comment) as Saunders believes Cassidy can bring law and order to the mining town. Saunder's type-setter is Windy Halliday, who claims to be an old friend of Cassidy's who taught him all he knows, but their relationship in this film is not the same as in later films in the series. Before Cassidy and his hard-headed young brother Buddy show up, Blackie Felton (quite possibly the meanest SOB ever seen in a Cassidy film) ropes, drags and causes the death of Saunders, who hangs on long enough to talk to Cassidy when he hits town, and Hoppy, to put it mildly, is more than a little bit riled. He has several conversations with Lilli about cleaning up her act and they are both mutually attracted to each other...she to he more than he to her, but she isn't buying much of his reformation talks, and is working hard to get him to come over to her side. Easily among the top three of the series films, with the only jarring note being the insipidly written-and-played character of Buddy Cassidy.- Written by Les Adams <email@example.com>
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