An evil ranch foreman tries to provoke a range war by playing two cattlemen against each other while helping a gang to rustle the cattle. Each cattleman blames the other for missing cattle.... See full summary »
U.S. Marshal Hopalong Cassidy is called when a town becomes overrun with bad guys. Disguised as a member of a medicine show, Hoppy discovers that the ringleader is none other than sweet li'l ol' Ma Burton.
Caldwell and Nixon have their men rob the stage and then critcize the Sheriff for not catching the robbers. With her father the Sheriff under pressure, Mary sends for Hoppy who finds the ... See full summary »
George 'Gabby' Hayes,
Hoppy arives posing as an outlaw to avenge his brother's killing by Plunkett. After robbing a train and killing Plunkett, he gets to meet the boss known as the Lone Wolf and lead his next job. Seeking help from Stoneman to capture the outlaws, he realizes too late that Stoneman is the Lone Wolf and is captured. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
I have to give a hearty second to zebulonguy's review here. The film shines due to its " character study .. .slow in pace... and very atmospheric" nature. He hits the nail on the head. For me Bernadene Hayes, whom I never noticed in a film before, was the best thing in the movie. She was great looking, singing, acting -- warm and sincere. Hoppy was the second best thing in the film: smiling, friendly, soft voice, warm, gentlemanly and authoritative. Also contributing was a pretty good cast which included such noted actors as Morris Ankrum and Lee J. Cobb, the president of the railroad!
The main villains were played by Morris Ankrum (the "lone wolf") as the top gang leader; Jack Rutherford as Ace Crowder (who ran the saloon-dance hall-casino) the second in command; and Al Ferguson as Deputy Sheriff Jim Plunkett, who murdered Hoppy's brother Buddy, an act which led Hoppy to the town.
Two particularly good scenes, near the end of the movie, were (1) the tense revelatory scene where Hoppy was explaining his plans to Ankrum about rounding up Ankrum's gang, not knowing that Ankrum was the gang leader, and Ankrum just then discovering that Hoppy was an undercover lawman; and (2) the exciting scene of two groups of horsemen chasing the speeding rail road train.
The following observations are all minor criticisms, and remember I loved this B-movie:
-- they never explained why the Deputy Sheriff murdered Buddy, though it was during a gunfight between the posse and the bad guys.
-- Hoppy's friend Hayden, who was angered that the authorities declared Buddy's death as "accidental," was unusually friendly afterward with the culprits Ankrum, Crowder and Plunkett.
-- Hoppy killed Plunkett in an unusualy ordinary way. Plunkettt was sent to follow Hoppy, to find Hoppy's supposed gold, and fired at Hoppy when they faced each other.
-- Hoppy went undercover to investigate the bad guys, and romanced Bernadene as a charming outlaw, and, it is a shame that we never saw the scene where Hoppy revealed his true identity to her as the great famous Hopalong Cassidy.
-- Bernadene was a major player in the story, with lots of screen time. No criticism, but she had little to do to advance the story, except to point out at the end where some characters had gone, something anyone could have done.
-- It is also odd that we never saw a reaction shot from Ankrum when he was about to die in the train crash. It's as though he disappeared from the movie. (Maybe they planned to have him in a sequel.)
-- Ankrum, the "lone wolf," had no real good reason not to kill Hoppy once Hoppy's identity was revealed and Ankrum had him tied up near the end of the movie.
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