25 September 2020 | MartinHafer
Douglass Dumbrille appears in the film...I wonder if he'll be playing a villain!
During the 1950s, the B-westerns of heroes like Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and Hopalong Cassidy were hacked to pieces in order to fit them into a TV time slot. In some cases, these adulterated versions are the only ones we have left. Fortunately, William Boyd (Hopalong Cassidy) was smart and kept original copies of his films. And, even more fortunately, these complete versions were posted to YouTube some time back....and they are in gorgeous condition and free to watch.
Douglass Dumbrille made a career out of playing bad guys and scum-bags. So when I saw that he was going to be in "Forty Thieves", I assumed that he'd be some evil boss who ultimately would get his comeuppance from Hoppy! This isn't much of a stretch.
When the story begins, Hoppy is running for re-election as sheriff. To his surprise, he sees an old enemy, Tad Hammond (Dumbrille) rides into town. Apparently, he's been paroled and as sheriff, Hoppy is now Hammond's parole officer! Well, neither Hoppy nor Hammond like this...and Hammond hatches a plan to get rid of Hoppy...at least as sheriff. This means convincing a weak boob to run...and Jerry Doyle is just such a boob! But to win the election, well, that takes a bit of trickery, as Hoppy is a popular guy and well liked by the good people of the town. So Hammond brings in a bunch of thugs to do whatever needs to be done to make sure Hopalong loses! What's next? See the film and find out for yourself.
Like all the Hopalong Cassidy films I've seen, this one features two sidekicks...usually one who is an old coot (Andy Clyde) and another who sings and does the romancing (Jimmy Rogers).
While the cheating in this film isn't exactly subtle, the film is clever and fun...like most Hopalong Cassidy films. Not among his best, but still enjoyable.