Hoppy is asked by immigration to investigate Chinese illegal aliens crossed from Mexico and left in the desert to die and finds a message in the sand beside a deceased implicating a Chinese speaking white man with a limp.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Emerson Treacy ...
Wilberforce Lawrence Edgemont - aka The Professor
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Cal Foster
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Grimes - Henchman
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Man Freeing Hoppy
Paul Marion ...
Captain Moreno
Larry Hudson ...
Jim Morgan
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Hoppy is asked by immigration to investigate Chinese illegal aliens crossed from Mexico and left in the desert to die and finds a message in the sand beside a deceased implicating a Chinese speaking white man with a limp.

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Western

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20 November 1953 (USA)  »

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(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Hoppy works for the Immigration Service
19 January 2012 | by (Bronx, NY) – See all my reviews

"Illegal Entry" finds Hopalong Cassidy (William Boyd) embroiled in an issue that remains relevant today. He goes undercover at the request of a commissioner from the U.S. Immigration Service to break up a smuggling ring that takes money from people trying to enter the U.S. illegally across the Mexican border and then abandons them to die in the Arizona desert. (As the commissioner so helpfully puts it, "If we'd caught these aliens we could have deported them, but our service doesn't condone murder.") Hoppy and his sidekick, Red Connors (Edgar Buchanan), cross the border into the Mexican town of "Mexizona" and make contact with Captain Moreno (Paul Marion), the head of the local Rurales, to insure his cooperation with their investigation. They eventually encounter an American ex-con, Cal Foster, with whom they've tangled in the past.

Interestingly, the victims of the smuggling ring are all Chinese who have come to Mexico in the hopes of entering the U.S. and reaching San Francisco to find work. (Did the Chinese workers who came to the U.S. in the 19th century really have to go to all that trouble?) Since this episode takes place mostly in the Mexican border town and there are Chinese characters in the story, we actually get to hear both Spanish and Mandarin spoken. One Chinese character, played by Spencer Chan, speaks both languages, but not English. Hoppy even speaks a few lines of Spanish to him to try to enlist his help in the midst of one perilous situation. It's not clear, though, that Hoppy is fully bilingual. It would have been quite a breakthrough if he had been.

Harry Lauter, who plays Foster, was an old hand at TV western villainy and makes a good foe. When he first spots Hoppy, Lauter pulls out his gun and yells from across the street, "If you're looking for trouble, Cassidy, come and get it!" I love how direct these characters were in early TV westerns.

This is an above-average episode of "Hopalong Cassidy" and deserves credit for treating a serious topic in a straightforward fashion, but also for showing some of the multiracial, multilingual fabric of border towns in the old west.


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