As Hopalong Cassidy, Lucky Jenkins, and California Carlson head home from a cattle drive they lose the money they collected to pay all the cattle ranchers. Hoppy has a hard time finding out who took the money and what has happened to his friend, Lucky. A feeling of hopelessness hangs over most of this movie, but has anyone ever seen Hopalong Cassidy fail to come through by the end of a movie?
The relationship of Hoppy and his pals was one of unquestioned loyalty. He would always look out for his friends. In Silent Conflict nearly all of his dialogue with Lucky is downright mean. Hoppy usually showed some kind of care for Lucky when he had to correct him, but this time he crossed over the line of "tough love." Although we know that Hoppy really cared for Lucky, a first time viewer may not get that right away from watching Silent Conflict. Hoppy is even mean to the innkeeper for no reason.
California often got in trouble to draw Hoppy into action. This time he cannot take the blame for any of Hoppy's troubles. In one humorous scene he reveals that he does not know his own age.
An indicator that a movie will be fun to watch is the inclusion of Earle Hodgins in the cast. His role as Doc Richards in Silent Conflict was better than normal. Not only is he the villain, he does not need any henchmen to help him do his dirty work. Hodgins was magnificent in this movie. This may even be his best role in a movie because he gets so much time on screen.
Rarely does background music make itself noticeable, but the music stands out in Silent Conflict. The usual Hoppy theme music switches back and forth with an eerie horror/suspense type of music during the scenes where Lucky is hypnotized. The forced fit of unmatched music was distracting, especially in the outdoor scenes among the rocks.
An unusual plot and the strong presence of Earle Hodgins make Silent Conflict stand out. It is definitely worthwhile to watch this one.