The sixth of the Hopalong Cassidy films, with the story source credited to Clarence E. Mulford’s “Mesquite Jenkins, Tumbleweed”, finds Hopalong Cassidy and his young pal, Johnny Nelson, leaving their Bar 20 home range to answer a letter offering them jobs on the Tumbling-L Ranch of Big John Trumbull near Yucca. Before they arrive in town, they save an old wrangler named Windy from drowning, who has been fired on from ambush as he was delivering a valuable stud bull to the depot. Windy, whose sole trusted weapon is a blacksnake whip, tells them he works for the Three-J Ranch adjoining Trumbull’s spread. Hoppy and Johnny soon learn that Trumbull’s outfit isn’t the kind they want to work for, turn down the job offer, and take work with the Three-J, operated by easterner Jim Jordan and his sister Sally. Jordan is planning on fencing in his grazing land, but Trunbull swears this won’t happen because, unknown to the other ranchers, Trumbull’s men have been driving rustled cattle through a …
Les Adams <[email protected]>
User Reviews: Hoppy and Johnny travel to the Trumbull ranch where they are hired to lead a cattle drive, when they see a man floating down the creek. After Johnny saves him, Windy Jenkins claims he is the foreman for the Triple J ranch, headed by easterner Jim Jordan. Arriving in town, Hoppy goes to the courthouse to find a case between Jordan and Trumbull over fencing rights (Jordan’s idea). Jordan wins the case, but is threatened by Trumbull’s gun man Paterson. After Hoppy overwhelms him, he refuses the Trumbull offer and decides to spend the evening at Jordan’s ranch. Trumbull’s main purpose now is to rescue Johnson, the man who robbed Windy’s stage and dumped him in the drink. That night they are successful and Johnson tells Trumbull of their plans to build the fence soon. Windy goes to town to get the fence posts and has his wagon stolen and burned by Trumbull’s goons, but not before Johnny saves it. At the Jordan ranch, Trumbull has the idea of marrying Jordan’s sister, Sally, and get control of the ranch so that the fencing would not happen and he can resume his cattle rustling operations. Hoppy and some of Jordan’s men teach Jordan the error of his ways, and start on the fence building. Barton, a gun man Jordan sent for, arrives and Jordan sends his men to ambush Jordan and his men, but when Jordan’s men fight back, Barton decides to stampede the cattle over the fence. Above average entry in the Hopalong series but it still could have been better. Blackmer doesn’t seem to be the best actor for the main heavy role, and when Kohler popped on the screen, I felt he would have been a heckuva lot better in the role. Much of the film is routine and could have fit a Ken Maynard, Tom Tyler, or some other B western star, rather than specifically designed for a Hoppy film. Lynn Gabriel is cute, but her thespian talents leave a lot to be desired. The film does have the action, drama, and humor that works so well in the Hopalong series, Rating, based on B westerns, 5.