After receiving money for delivering a large herd, Hoppy, California, and Lucky retire to an inn for the night. The next morning both Lucky and the money are gone. At first Hoppy suspects Blaney and his gang but later realizes Doc Richards is responsible. He and his mysterious concoctions have put Lucky under a spell and Hoppy and California set out to find him. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
One of the better latter day Hopalong Cassidy films.
Hoppy's dressed all in black, which is a good sign; he's unusually stern with Lucky ("You sound like a little boy & you're beginning to act like one"), which sets up some of the ensuing plot. Virginia Belmont, the female romantic lead, looks older (she's just looks older, she's really only 27) & not as pretty as most of the Hoppy heroines. Lucky has much bigger role than usual. Hoppy & his two pals carry $25,000 in gold from the sale of combined cattle herds. Lucky is hypnotized by Earle Hodgins, with the aid of special "herb tea." The plot intertwines Hoppy & California's search for Lucky, Hoppy's four rancher friends' search for Hoppy, a gang of six outlaws suspected of stealing the money, & the travels of Hodgins & his niece (Belmont). Hodgins is very good in one of his biggest & most sinister roles in any Hopalong Cassidy film. Rand Brooks sleepwalks through the film as part of his role, as opposed to his usual sleepwalking in other Hoppy films. Hoppy uses some psychological ("hypnotized") & legal ("alimony") jargon, both unusual terms for the 1800s, making one wonder if he was college educated! Very little action but holds the attention nonetheless by being quite a decent mystery movie. I rate it 6/10.
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