Before he was killed by Mark Foster's men, Bud Lawton willed part ownership in his ranch to Hoppy and his two pals. When the three arrive they find a fake posing as Lawton. When they expose the imposter, Foster gets the Sheriff to jail them for Lawton's murder. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bud Lawton, one of Hoppy's young ranch hands, is ambushed and killed right after he has had a lawyer draw up a business agreement in which he names Hoppy, California and Jimmy as his full partners in his 2/3rds ownership of a ranch that he has just inherited from his estranged father. Hoppy and his sidekicks decide to visit the ranch and upon arrival discover that "Bud Lawton" has returned to the old homestead. The imposter has been hired to do the impersonation by a rat who wants the water rights which go with the property and hopes to get the property by having the imposter convince Lawton's sister to sell the ranch. Douglas Dumbrille as usual does a marvelous job playing the villain, Mark Foster. Of course if this movie is remembered at all by non-B western fans it's because of Robert Mitchum. And what a good job he does. I've seen an early John Wayne western and I can't say that I thought he was anything special but Mitchum does shine in this early film, especially in the poker playing scene and the subsequent barroom brawl with Hoppy. I like Andy Clyde as California but must agree with a previous reviewer that he kinda was asking to get hit after his inappropriate kibitzing at a poker game.
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