17 February 2004 | bsmith5552
Hoppy Meets Judge Roy Bean?
"Border Patrol" is yet another entry in the long running Hopalong Cassidy series produced by Harry "Pop" Sherman between 1935 and 1944. The "Hoppy Trio" consists of Hoppy (William Boyd), California (Andy Clyde) and Johnny Travers (Jay Kirby). This time the boys are members of the Border Patrol of the title.
The story opens with the trio coming upon a fleeing Mexican worker who has been shot trying to escape to his homeland. Mexican ranch owner Inez La Baroa (Claudia Drake) comes upon them and accuses them of murdering her ranch hand. She takes them to the Commandant of the Mexican Border Patrol (Duncan Renaldo) who straightens things out. It seems that Mexican migrant workers have been crossing the border to work in the U.S. never to be heard from again. Hoppy decides to investigate the matter.
The trail leads to the town of Siver Bullet run by a Judge Roy Bean type named Orestes Krebs (Russell Simpson) who has the boys arrested. Krebs is an everyman in the town being mayor, sheriff and judge, among others. With the aid of Inez they overpower jailer Pierce Lydon and escape. They discover that Krebs has been imprisoning the Mexican workers led by Don Enriquez Perez (George Reeves) and forcing them to work in his silver mine. Well, Hoppy and the boys soon rectify that situation.
Frequent series director Lesley Selander gives us an action packed adventure with plenty of fisticuffs and gunfights, as well as, the customary spectacular outdoor scenery which was common to the series.
This film is also notable for the screen debut of Robert Mitchum who plays a Krebs gunman. Mitchum would go on to appear in several other Hoppys before his breakthrough role in "The Story of G.I. Joe" (1944). George Reeves, who would gain greater fame as TV's "Superman", appears briefly as the leader of the Mexican workers. He too would play a variety of roles in the series, even so far as to appear as one of the "Hoppy Trio" in a couple of pictures. Russell Simpson was perhaps better known as Pa Joad in John Ford's "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940). Duncan Renaldo would shortly achieve fame as "The Cisco Kid" in a series produced by Monogram Pictures and a subsequent TV series.
Top notch Hoppy.