5 August 2020 | MartinHafer
One of the better B-westerns.
Like many of the series B-westerns of the 1930s and 40s, in the 1950s Hopalong Cassidy's movies were chopped down for television. The same is true of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry's movies...and sometimes you can find two versions of their films...an abbreviated one that runs about 50-55 minutes and the longer versions, usually about 65-70 minutes long. In the case of "Trail Dust", it was chopped down as well but I managed to find the original 76 minute version on YouTube. And, surprisingly, the quality of the print is terrific.
The plot of "Trail Dust" is very simple. Hoppy and his friends Windy (Gabby Hayes) and Dusty (James Ellison) are driving much needed cattle to a part of the country that is hungry and desperately in need of food. But scattered among the men are some jerks who are trying to prevent the cowboys from reaching their destination. In addition, folks outside the cattle drive also do their best to interrupt them from their duty. Can Hoppy and his friends manage to stop these baddies and save the day?
This is a very good B-western. Much of it is because the story is simple and not cluttered with too much plot nor distractions. I also appreciated how good the camerawork was in this one...Paramount Pictures wasn't trying to make a bargain basement western here! I also loved the scene with Hayes and Ellison where Gabby was trying to teach him how to woo a woman! Hilarious! All in all, an enjoyable western....one that also surprised me at how tough it was. Hoppy had to shoot several baddies in this one....and not always with those non-life threatening shots you too often see in this sort of thing.