Lucky is falsely accused of robbing the local bank and assumed drowned in the river while being pursued by a posse. A grieving Hoppy takes exception to remarks made about his presumably dead young friend by local lawyer Cal Howard, and Hoppy knocks him down in public. Howard is engaged to Agnes, the pretty and personable daughter of local cattle rancher Glen Randall, who has borrowed heavily from the town bank in order to buy a herd of breed cattle. Howard's callously materialistic attitude toward his fiance, coupled with his virulent jealousy of Agnes' friendship with Hoppy, causes her to break off the engagement. The vindictive Howard pressures the bank to call in its loan on the Randall ranch and conspires to rustle the valuable herd, so that the Randall spread will fall into his hands. This is part of a larger covert plan by the avaricious lawyer to take over the entire valley on the behalf of a shadowy combine. A desperate Randall recruits Hoppy as his foreman to help him deal ... Written by
Gabe Taverney (email@example.com)
"Rustler's Valley" is a routine entry in the long running Hopalong Cassidy series produced by Harry "Pop" Sherman. There's little action save for the finale and no fights to speak of.
It does have a couple of interesting footnotes though. First Stephen Morris (aka Morris Ankrum), a regular villain in the early entries in the series, plays a good guy for a change...the heroine's father. Second, Lee Colt who plays the chief villain, became better known as Lee J. Cobb and enjoyed a long and distinguished career.
The story has crooked lawyer Cal Howard (Cobb) and his cronies trying to force rancher Randall (Morris) and daughter Agnes (Muriel Evans) off their ranch. Hoppy (William Boyd), Lucky (Russell Hayden) and Windy (George "Gabby" Hayes) come to their aid.
Curiously enough, Hoppy hires on as Randall's foreman. There is no mention of the Bar 20 (Hoppy's home base)whatsoever in the picture. Hayes had now developed his "Gabby" character although he is called Windy in this series. He continued to be billed as George Hayes until he moved over to Republic to co-star with Roy Rogers.
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