The Showdown (March 8, 1940)
Released on March 8, 1940: (running time 65 minutes) Hopalong Cassidy helps a local rancher and her niece when a European Baron tries to rustle the best horses from the ranch.
Produced by Harry Sherman
Directed by Howard Bretherton
Written by Jack Jungmeyer with screenplay by Donald Kusel and Harold Daniel Kusel about the Hopalong Cassidy character created by Clarence E. Mulford
The Actors: William Boyd (Hopalong Cassidy), Russell Hayden (Lucky Jenkins), Britt Wood (Speedy McGinnis), Morris Ankrum (Baron Rendor), Jan Clayton (Sue Willard), Wright Kramer (Colonel Rufe White), Donald Kirke (Harry Cole), Roy Barcroft (Bowman), Eddie Dean (the Marshal), Kermit Maynard (henchman Johnson), Walter Shumway (henchman Snell), The King's Men (singing cowhands), Jim Corey (barfly), Ken Darby (rider, member of The King's Men), Jon Dodson (rider and member of The King's Men), Ray Jones (barfly), Bud Linn (rider and member of The King's Men), Murdock MacQuarrie (telegraph operator Zeke), Merrill McCormick (man watching poker game), George Morrell (townsman), Charles Murphy (townsman), William H. O'Brien (bald bartender), Edward Peil Sr. (man wearing visor), Tex Phelps (townsman), John Powers (townsman), Rad Robinson (rider and member of The King's Men), Wen Wright (ranch hand)
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The Fool with Four Aces
This cowboy western adventure features our old friend William Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy in another thrilling story, but this one is different.I have watched, reviewed and added many dozens of Western movies from the 1930's through the 1950's but this is the first one to include a detailed game of poker between the good guy and the bad guy. It is so detailed that we get to watch each hand as the stakes are raised. Don't worry if you are not a poker expert because after the game Hoppy explains his strange actions to comedy relief side-kick Speedy McGinnis, played by Britt Wood.
As the money piles up on the card table we discover that Hoppy has four aces, a nearly unbeatable hand. The bad guy has a three card run. He cannot win useless unless he is lucky enough to draw the two exact cards that will make it a five card run in the same suit.
When the betting is done the players have the chance to draw another card or two. No poker player with four aces and one other card would ever draw any extra cards. He might draw one card, exchanging his non-ace fifth card for another, hopefully higher numbered card, but NEVER would he draw two or three cards and toss out any of his aces. But this is exactly what Hoppy does.
Hopalong Cassidy tosses two of his cards onto the table and demands two cards from the deck, giving up at least one of his four aces. Is Hopalong Cassidy stupid? Who has all four aces and then gives up one of them for an unknown card that could not possibly be an ace? The bad guy declares later that only a fool would break up four aces.
But Hoppy is no fool, and the bad guys have no chance once again when trying to rustle the horses of a nearby rancher, . . . . Not with Hopalong Cassidy keeping an eye on things. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Donald Kirke, Britt Wood and William Boyd
Donald Kirke and Morris Ankrum
Eddie Dean and Wright Kramer
Jan Clayton and William Boyd
Jan Clayton and Wright Kramer
Kermit Maynard, Walter Shumway and Roy Barcroft
Morris Ankrum and Roy Barcroft
Morris Ankrum and Bill Boyd
Morris Ankrum and Wright Kramer
Roy Barcroft and William Boyd
Russell Hayden and Britt Wood
Russell Hayden, Britt Wood and William Boyd
Russell Hayden and Britt Wood
Russell Hayden, William Boyd and Jan Clayton
Russell Hayden and Morris Ankrum
The King's Men
William Boyd and Britt Wood
William Boyd and Jan Clayton
William Boyd and Murdock MacQuarrie
William Boyd and Wright Kramer
William Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy
William Boyd playing poker
Wright Kramer and Jan Clayton
Wright Kramer and William Boyd