At the reading of his late cousin's will, California learns the estate will be divied among whoever remains of the seven relatives. With one already dead, another immediately murdered, and ... See full summary »
At the reading of his late cousin's will, California learns the estate will be divied among whoever remains of the seven relatives. With one already dead, another immediately murdered, and the Lawyer telling them the ranch is almost worthless, Hoppy investigates. Finding the ranch valuable and the Lawyer embezzling money from it, Hoppy confronts him. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
The version I have has the re-release title of "Saddle & Spurs." Hoppy starts out dressed all in black, although later changes to an unflattering Buckskin suit & tie. There's a mysterious figure running about who resembles the 1940s "The Shadow." Very nice music soundtrack (probably borrowed from an earlier non-Hoppy film). Some good comedic lines, such as Hoppy to California: "The brown horse is yours." Earle Hodgins, who usually plays the snake-oil salesman type of character to perfection, is here cast out of character as a scruffy, bearded cowhand. Old Dark House elements abound: the wind blows the lights out in a big old house, at which time one of the beneficiaries of the will being read is killed, lots of people sneaking about at night, there's a secret passageway, there's a mounted buffalo head where someone is sneaking peeks into the next room, a mysterious voice at a gravesite, & so on. There's a long fight scene in the cellar that features fantastic camera angles & a very neat expressionistic set! Misplaced in a western, but great anyway! The heroine, played by Patricia Tate, is one of the prettiest in all the Hoppy films, but strangely, Lucky is not romantically interested in this young lady. A very good mystery western, but Western fans beware, Hoppy doesn't fire his gun at all in this film, despite being shot at twice. I rate it 7/10.
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