Partners of the Plains (January 14, 1938)
Released on January 14, 1938: (running time 67 minutes) Hopalong Cassidy may have met his match when the strong-willed and spoiled London owner of the ranch he is working for determines to make Hopalong her love-slave.
Produced by Harry Sherman
Directed by Lesley Selander
Written by Harrison Jacobs from characters created by Clarence E. Mulford
The Actors: William Boyd (Hopalong Cassidy), Russell Hayden (Lucky Jenkins), Harvey Clark (Baldy), Gwen Gaze (Lorna Drake), Hilda Plowright (Aunt Martha), John Warburton (Ronald Harwood), Al Bridge (Scar Lewis), Al Hill (Doc Galer), Earle Hodgins (Sheriff), John Beach (Mr. Benson), Bob Burns (cowhand), Jim Corey (henchman), Herman Hack (posse rider), Bud McClure (unknown)
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If That’s the kind of a War She Wants, That’s the kind of a war She Gets!
It is unusual for me to think that the best movie of an actor’s entire movie career was her second movie, but Gwen Gaze was not the usual actress. She was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1915. Her mother was a pianist and her father was an opera singer and silent screen actor. The family moved to England when she was very young, and wanting to follow her father in a stage career, she studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. While in a play with George Bernard Shaw, she mentioned to him that she was moving to Pasadena, California after the show finished. He asked her if she would try to become a Hollywood movie actor, and she supposed that she would.
After replacing her Australian accent with a perfect English accent, she then needed to learn to speak American English, which she easily did. Soon after arriving in Pasadena she had the urge to learn how to ride a horse. She took weekly lessons in Glendale, and she was glad that she did, because her second movie part was in this Hopalong Cassidy cowboy story as the leading lady.
In Gwen Gaze’s first motion picture she was the leading lady for John Wayne. She later said that she didn’t care for him a lot because, “It was hard to get him to talk about anything but about pictures that he was about to make or had made.”
At a party one evening she met Martin Straith, and they fell instantly and totally in love. He was from Vancouver, Canada, and she left her acting career to become a wife and mother in Vancouver. They soon had a son Peter and a daughter Carole. Martin died four years after getting married, and Gwen raised her children as a single parent.
After the children were grown, she met and married an architect who became the love of her life. They moved to Seattle, Washington where she enjoyed working part time in television, advertising and theater. She was active with the Seattle Symphony and enjoyed time on their yacht at the Seattle Yacht Club. She passed at the age of ninety-five in 2010.
Gwen Gaze only acted in thirteen motion pictures, three of which were Hopalong Cassidy adventures. This was her second movie after her movie with John Wayne, and I believe that this was her best part. In this adventure, twenty-three-year-old Gwen Gaze gets to use her British accent because she is the British owner of a Texas ranch. She owns the ranch that Hopalong Cassidy is foreman of, and their chemistry at first meeting is absolute and riveting. Not only do they love to hate each other, they have the kind of hate that is only a smidgen away from love.
Hopalong Cassidy can easily handle the baddest outlaws in the west, but this little lady from London may be the first adversary that he cannot conquer. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Al Bridge, Al Hill
Al Bridge, John Warburton
Earl Hodgins, William Boyd
Gwen Gaze, Earl Hodgins
Gwen Gaze, John Beach
Gwen Gaze, William Boyd
Harvey Clark, Hilda Plowright
Harvey Clark, Russell Hayden
Harvey Clark, Gwen Gaze
Hilda Plowright, William Boyd, Gwen Gaze
John Warburton and Al Bridge
John Beach, John Warburton
John Warburton, Al Bridge
John Warburton, Harvey Clark
John Warburton, Russle Hayden
Russell Hayden, Harvey Clark