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Secrets of the Wasteland (1941)

Passed  |   |  Action, Adventure, Western  |  15 November 1941 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 68 users  
Reviews: 3 user

The usual gang of bad guys is out to grab up all the available ranch land. This time their object is land belonging to Chinese. As an aside, Hoppy leads some archaeologists through parts of California.

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(screenplay), (story) (as Bliss Lomax) , 1 more credit »
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Title: Secrets of the Wasteland (1941)

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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A banker is trying to cheat people out of their silver-rich land. Hoppy learns that the banker is in league with an outlaw gang.

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The son of an Army friend is about the join an outlaw gang. Hoppy prevents this and brings the gang to justice.

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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.

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Three bodies turn up in a frontier hotel. Hoppy solves the murders and chases the killers through unusually misty and dark locations.

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Hoppy and new sidekick California Carlson head to California to help out Lucky Jenkins.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Brad King ...
Soo Yong ...
Barbara Britton ...
Jennifer Kendall
...
Slade Salters
Keith Richards ...
Clay Elliott
Richard Loo ...
Quan
Lee Tung Foo ...
Doy Kee
Gordon Hart ...
Dr. Malcolm Birdsall
Earl Gunn ...
Clanton
Ian MacDonald ...
Hollister
John Rawlins ...
Williams
Roland Got ...
Yeng
Hal Price ...
Professor Balto Stubbs
Edit

Storyline

Hoppy is leading a scientific expedition and the Chinese who have a hidden settlement nearby are trying to stop them. Saulters and his outlaw gang are also in the area looking for a gold mine. When Saulters men attack, the gold mine is found. Hoppy agrees to file for the Chinese and heads after Saulters in the chase to the land office. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

RIDIN' TO THE RESCUE! Your favorite action hero...in his latest whirlwind of adventure! (original print ad) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 November 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

To mystiko tis hamenis horas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Barbara Britton. See more »

Goofs

During the gun battle, Hoppy exhausts one of his six-shooters, then fires fourteen bullets from the other. See more »

Connections

Followed by Border Patrol (1943) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Strange Hopalong Cassidy Adventure
7 July 2006 | by (Easley, South Carolina) – See all my reviews

Just who is the villain in Secret of the Wastelands? Is it Salters the lawyer? Are those Chinese store owners evil or just mysterious? What secrets will be uncovered by the archaeologists digging around abandoned Indian dwellings built on a mountainside? Secret of the Wastelands starts off like a good Hopalong Cassidy adventure, but it gets stranger as it goes.

Hoppy, California and Johnny are hired to escort a team of archaeologists into the desert. A knife attack from a Chinese man is a warning to cancel the trip, but Hoppy is not so easily dissuaded. The cook hired for the trip happens to be Chinese, and is a strong suspect for attempts at sabotaging the expedition. Concern by the Chinese merchants is apparent, but there is no obvious reason for a connection between them and the Indian ruins. Slade Salters observes the situation and suspects that the archaeologist may find a source of gold connected that connects the Chinese with the abandoned Indian ruins. Salters has his men follow the team so he can take over if and when the time is right. The story keeps the viewer slightly off guard until the end when all questions are answered with an ending that I found to be unrealistic.

The scenery goes between normal western surroundings like the town and the open range. The site of the archaeological dig looks more appropriate for an Egyptian or South American setting. The Chinese characters seem a bit unrealistic, too. Any time cowboys are taken out of a traditional western settings a movie takes a chance. Usually the outcome is disappointing. Viewing with an open mind helps sometimes.

As in every adventure, Hoppy's younger sidekick chases after the girl. This time it is Jennifer Kendall, the young female archaeologist. Sadly for Johnny, the girl just is not interested in him. Brad King played Johnny Neslon in this movie, and even had a singing part. I have seen better acting and singing by King in other Hopalong Cassidy movies.

Secret of the Wastelands is an odd entry into the Hopalong Cassidy series. While Hopalong Cassidy movies were often better than other westerns, this one is not my favorite Hoppy movie.


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