Hoppy and his pals use their reward money to buy a half interest in the Whitlock ranch. After Wildcat Kelly cons California into buying a well drilling rig, they strike water instead of oil. This threatens Jebb Hardin's water monopoly and he retaliates by framing Hoppy for cattle rustling. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Of all the 66 Hopalong Cassidy films made, this one is probably the most common & easily available, especially before the US Television Office bought the rights to the films. You could find this one at K-Mart, drugstores, Amazon.com, everywhere. Why was this one so much more common that the other 65? Was it the best? Certainly not, it's probably around the middle of the group. The reason was undoubtedly its cast. Robert Mitchum (who got his start in Hoppy films & made seven of them, all in 1943) had probably his meatiest role here as a baddie. In addition, TV's Superman, George Reeves, also had a significant role in this film; he made four Hoppy films, all also in 1943). Then, for a little icing on the cake, you get Victor Jory (coming off his starring role as the title characters in the serials "The Green Archer" & "The Shadow") as a villain. The female "love interest" in this film, Lois Sherman (AKA "Teddi"), was not as pretty as most, & what acting ability she had was overshadowed by her squeaky voice (kind of like today's Rosie Perez). But it didn't matter, because she was producer Harry "Pop" Sherman's daughter. There's enough action to keep it interesting, & a plot that turns a couple of times. Jay Kirby, while not the best of the "Johnny/Lucky" sidekicks, could certainly act circles around Jimmy Rogers, who was to follow him in that sidekick role. Andy Clyde, as California, actually has a more significant role than usual, & his comedy doesn't get in the way of the plot (his character's actions actually fit in quite nicely). For readers who've followed my other Hoppy reviews on this website, the wardrobe forecast: good! (Hoppy wears his black outfit throughout this film). I rate it 7/10.
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