24 March 2002 | wrbtu
Pleasant film, but not among Hoppy's best, either as a western or as a mystery.
Not the usual Hoppy music & no TV theme music added onto the beginning of this authorized tape. Hoppy is dressed all in black at the beginning, but changes to a rancher's outfit 20 minutes into the film (a bad sign which usually leads to more talk & less action, e.g., he wears no guns while wearing his rancher's outfit, & in this movie, takes Lucky's gun). Set in Mesa City in the late 1890s to early 1900s (based on the `horseless carriage' that shows up). Blooper: a square dance caller closes his mouth but his calls continue! Interesting touches: 1) Hoppy dances, which is somewhat of a rarity; 2) nice photography (especially when Hoppy is seen through a double wall opening to a dumb waiter); 3) long comedy monolog by California; 4) a posse on horseback chases robbers in a car; 5) the heroine (MW) is quite forgettable & has an unusually small role for a Hoppy heroine (even Lucky doesn't fall all over her, as he usually does); 6) Hoppy returns to his black outfit near the end, & calls his horse `Topper,' which I haven't heard too often. A pleasant film, but not among Hoppy's best, either as a western or as a mystery. I rate this 5/10.