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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A film that deals with character rather than action
This entry into the Hopalong Cassidy series proves to be an interesting one. Directed by Nate Watt , the film is a character study and is successful in this objective. Nate Watt only directed 7 Cassidy films, more's the pity as he really managed to get under the character's skins more than any other director.All of his Hoppy films are slow in pace, very atmospheric, more adult than the usual series films , and very strong on the principle characters involved. This film features a typical downbeat Nate Watt opening. Hoppy's brother Buddy has been murdered ( he was in a previous Hoppy film ). Hoppy, Lucky and Windy set out to investigate "The Lone Wolf", a bandit and mastermind behind many robberies in the town , plus the instigator of Buddy's murder. Stephen Morris ( aka Morris Ankrum ) is the villain of the piece. Lee J. Cobb is in a small part.The female lead, as in most Watt films is far stronger than usually portrayed in a Hoppy film. Bernadene Hayes has a real charm and really enhances the film. There is an obvious bond between her character and Hoppy , this is nice for a change from the Lucky character's usually silly romances.The final scene is beautifully acted by Boyd and Hayes, watch their eyes as they both convey their true feelings. Another beautifully directed sequence has Hoppy and Faro Annie ( Hayes ) dancing in the saloon whilst Windy plays the piano. Hayes sings "When Irish eyes are smiling ". This is beautifully done and it is obvious to any viewer Boyd is thoroughly enjoying the change of pace.There is a cracking finale with the villain and Windy on board a runaway train and again a poignant scene when Hoppy and Lucky believe Windy to be dead.This is not the finest Cassidy, indeed not Nate Watt's best but it has moments of originality and sheer bliss that should not be missed.
Sadly Nate Watt's career never really took off as it should have. But it should be noted he was assistant director on the classic 1939 film Of Mice and Men. I like to think he contributed a lot to that wonderful film.
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