• Warning: Spoilers
    An unusual Hopalong Cassidy western, with Hoppy leading a consortium of brands of small herds of cattle from the panhandle of Texas to 'the north',(presumably a Kansas railhead called Plainville), where it was reported people were starving because of a severe drought. In contrast to the Panhandle Cattle Association, this group was willing not to gouge the people up there with excessive prices for their cattle, due to their scarcity. However, the trail drive turns out to be fraught with various man-made obstacles, in addition to the natural danger of dry waterholes. In fact, Hoppy was running a race with a large herd led by a Lewis, who wanted to gouge the customers. Fortunately, Hoppy's herd got a head start, which Hoppy meant to keep, despite the best efforts of Lewis's people to put obstacles in his path. Lewis sent two of his best hands to join up with Hoppy, hoping they could think of ways to slow down his progress. Their names were Tex Anderson (Morris Ankrum), and Joe Wilson(Ted Adams). One problem with pushing cattle too hard was that they would lose weight, which would figure in the price they would likely receive. Nonetheless, Hoppy felt some urgency due to the competing herd and the starving people up north........ One of the things Lewis did try to slow down Hoppy was to send a party of 'trail cutters' to bother him when the cattle were being driven. I still don't understand their function. For some reason, they wanted to separate out one brand of his cattle, which were mixed in with the other brands. Hoppy snubbed them as best he could, but they would reappear later.......... One night, Hoppy's bunch heard gunshots from where the cattle were. They found that some of their cattle were being rustled. Simultaneously, they saw their chuck wagon ablaze. All their provisions were ruined by the fire.(No word on where they got a replacement chuck wagon!). To replace their provisions, they had to patronize Waggoner's store. Unfortunately, Waggoner didn't get along with Hoppy. Windy went to get the provisions, but when Waggoner figured out that he was with Hoppy, he got hostile, and took Windy's gun, then socked him. Before Waggoner's men could do more damage to Windy, Hoppy showed up, and got the drop on them, with his 2 guns. He and Windy then took their gun belts, and scattered their horses by shooting in the air.........Along the trail, Johnny Nelson : Hoppy's righthand man, discovers an unconscious woman. They put her in the chuck wagon until they make camp. Then, they find out that she is Beth Clark, and that she fell off her horse, while searching for her father, who maintained cattle trails(Lewis had captured him)........Johnny tries to get cozy with Beth, who goes along with the trail drive. Johnny had a fair singing voice, and , around the camp fire, sometimes sings two compositions by Harry Tobias and Jack Stern, called "Beneath a Western Sky", and "Wide Open Spaces", both quite appropriate for a cattle drive. Later, Beth would voluntarily gallop the rest of the way to Plainsville, to tell them that relatively cheap beef was on it's way........Countering Lewis's tricks, Hoppy started a brush fire, behind his own herd, ahead of Lewis's herd, to hopefully delay Lewis, whose herd had been catching up to his own. In a counter measure, Wilson knocks out Windy, who was guarding the chuck wagon, and steals the several sticks of dynamite. He and Anderson take the dynamite to the entrance to Black Canyon(in Kansas?), climb up to the top and implant the sticks so that they should cause a rock slide across the mouth of the canyon. Very fortunately, Hoppy trailed them and climbed to where they were. He shot both dead, then searched for the lit dynamite: very dangerous. Fortunately, he found them in time and threw them away, and his cattle made it through the canyon.(I don't know how Lewis's cattle were supposed to get through the canyon if the dynamite had worked?!)........As the members of Hoppy's drive say goodbye to each other , at the conclusion, Hoppy was hoping that Johnny and Windy would ride into the sunset with him, for his next adventure. But Johnny wanted to stay with Beth, and Windy had some reason to stay. We see a glum Hoppy moseying down a trail, alone. But, then we see Johnny and Windy catch up to Hoppy. Once again, Jimmy had left his girlfriend at the alter, so to speak, preferring to rejoin Hoppy........I got a little bored with all the scenes of moving , bellowing, cattle, stirring up clouds of dust. Also, I get weary of Windy uttering his signature sayings, such as "durn persnickety woman" and "You're durn tootin', Hoppy"........As usual for Hoppy films, location shooting took place, near or in the Sierras, so why we had a canyon in Kansas. Although we think of Hoppy as a cowboy, unlike Johnny, for instance, you'll notice he never wears chaps. Also, like his competitors Roy Rogers and The Lone Ranger, but unlike the others in his films, he always wears two gun holsters: the better to intimidate his foes.......See it at YouTube