An evil ranch foreman tries to provoke a range war by playing two cattlemen against each other while helping a gang to rustle the cattle. Each cattleman blames the other for missing cattle.... See full summary »
In the 56th film of the 66 in the series (and the first one produced by William Boyd Productions instead of Harry Sherman), Hopalong Cassidy undertakes to help out his old friend, Army Colonel Jed Landry. The Colonel's hot-tempered son, Lieutenant Bruce Landry, has struck his commanding officer and is facing a court martial. Bruce deserts and is believed hiding at a robber's hideout-town known as Twin Buttes. Cassidy departs without telling his two pals, Lucky Jenkins and California Carlson, but they learn his destination and follow him. Hoppy arrives at Twin Buttes and attempts to register at the inn ran by Jessie Dixon but she is suspicious and refuses him a room. Cassidy makes friends with "Professor" Dixon, Jessie's father, and is given a room. Bruce is being kept in a hideout by a group of holdup men headed by Dixon, and has fallen in love with Jessie. She advises him to give himself up and face the Army court-martial, rather than participate in a series of shady deals engineered... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hoppy's in black only for the first few minutes of this film, which, as readers of my other Hoppy film's reviews know, is a bad sign. This time, he plays a cattleman. There is very little action in this film. The only gunfight occurs in the last few minutes, & Hoppy isn't even involved in it, so he never actually fires his gun in this film! There isn't even a legitimate horse chase, although Hoppy & Topper do chase a buggy at one point! There's the standard latter day Hoppy-type mystery (in the sense of his being "undercover"), but there's no real mystery here either. Let's see, no mystery, no gunplay from Hoppy, no horse chase. What does that leave? Must be a lot of romance between Lucky & the female lead, right? Nope. She's involved with another character & hardly speaks with Lucky at all. Oh well, maybe it has some good funny parts supplied by California? Nope. One of the least funny of all the later Hoppy movies. I think what really happened here is that the cast & crew decided to take the week off, & just threw this product out there. Earle Hodgins is good in his very minor role (uncharacteristically, for him, playing a straight baddie instead of his usual charlatan snake oil salesman). The highlight of the film is actually watching Hoppy watch Hodgins spit on the ground several times while they're talking. And you know, if that's the highlight, this isn't a very good movie, even for the Hoppy fanatic that I am. I rate it 5/10, & would have rated it a point lower, but it never really got silly or stupid at any point. Miscellaneous comments: I thought I found a blooper when California referred to the baddies as "yellow dogs," a term which I had thought originated during WWII, but according to the "American Dictionary of Slang" (Harper Collins Publishers) this term was in use as early as 1881. In this film, a calendar on the wall shows June 1 as occurring on a Thursday. From 1881 to 1900, the only June firsts to occur on that day were in 1882, 1893, & 1899. Wasting my time trying to instill a little historical accuracy in a B western? Sure, but I take my Hoppy movies very seriously, it's all part of the fun!
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