Pirates on Horseback (1941)

Passed   |    |  Action, Adventure, Western

Pirates on Horseback (1941) Poster

Hoppy, Lucky and California search for a mine owned by Trudy Pendleton after it was taken from her by the swindling gambler Ace Gibson. They find the mine and Hoppy fights Gibson over it.


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24 March 2006 | wrbtu
Too Much Comedy & No Pirates
The silly title is a put off, but of course there are no real "pirates" in this film, which at 69 minutes, is one of the longest in the Hopalong Cassidy series. It starts off very well, with lots of action & a goldmine plot. Based on the way it started, I thought this would be one of the best Hoppy films; it was realistic, conveyed a good old-fashioned western feeling, & the gunfight between a prospector & the baddies was brutal. Hoppy first appears 10 minutes into the film, wearing a black hat, tan shirt, & light-colored pants. If you've read my other Hoppy reviews, you'll know that the lighter the colors he wears, the worse the film is. I thought this film would be an exception to that rule, but sadly, I was wrong. The comedy starts soon after Hoppy appears, which is to be expected anytime Andy Clyde is on screen, & that's OK, but in this film, the comedy went on & on & on, & eventually caused the film to lose all the momentum it had gained before Hoppy had even appeared. There were some good comedy segments to be sure; one that stands out is California's assumption that he's speaking to a dumb Indian & therefore resorts to pantomime, only to find out that the Indian speaks English in a more educated manner than any of the cowboys! Another humorous segment involved jokes about Lucky's propensity for immediately falling in love with any young lady he meets. But five to ten minutes of the film is wasted on a long, drawn out gold nugget joke situation. Amazingly, Hoppy is not involved in even a single gunfight, & fires his gun only once during the film (but at the ground). The first 10 minutes of the film were certainly the best part of this film, & it could have been so much better than it was, a disappointing effort overall.

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