Wide Open Town (August 8, 1941)
Released on August 8, 1941: Cattle Rustlers have stolen the Bar 20 herd, so Hopalong Cassidy, Lucky Jenkins and California Carson trail them to the town that is ruled by the rustlers and their boss, beautiful and deadly Belle Langtry.
Produced by Harry Sherman
Directed by Leslie Selander
Written by J. Benton Cheney, and Harrison Jacobs from characters created by Clarence E. Mulford
The Actors: William Boyd (Hopalong Cassidy), Russell Hayden (Lucky Jenkins), Andy Clyde (California Carlson), Evelyn Brent (Belle Langtry), Victor Jory (Steve Fraser), Morris Ankrum (Jim Stuart), Cara Williams (Joan Stuart), Kenneth Harlan (Tom Wilson), Roy Barcroft (Red), Glenn Strange (Ed Stark), Ed Cassidy (Brad Jackson), Jack Rockwell (rancher), Hank Bell (man with huge mustache who reports herd coming), Ed Brady (man who reads poster), George Cleveland (Pete Carter, miner), Frank Darien (Pop), Bob Kortman (henchman Blackie), Ethan Laidlaw (Paradise waiter), Ethelreda Leopold (Saloon Girl), Chuck Morrison (Joe, reports that the Sheriff is coming), Lee Shumway (Sandy, bartender), Wen Wright (henchman Spike)
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There’s a New Sheriff in Town
As our adventure opens cattle rustlers are stealing the Bar 20 cattle. Soon we meet Hopalong Cassidy and his two buddies California Carlson and Lucky Jenkins are riding south to find the stolen cattle. Their journey ends in the lawless town of Gunsight. The town is filled with outlaws, and the head of the outlaws is Paradise Saloon owner Belle Langtry, played by the sexy and sultry silent movie star Evelyn Brent.
Evelyn began as an extra in some of the first motion pictures ever made when she was thirteen years old, and her sexy beauty propelled her into ever greater roles. Evelyn Brent became one of the most famous young actresses, usually as the sexy, sultry, vamping temptress.
When sound was added to motion pictures in the late 1920’s Evelyn was one of the few silent actresses that could make the transition, but great character acting parts for women were not as easy to find, and she never became a really big star. Also, as Evelyn got older she often became the ‘bad girl’ villain instead of the temptress vamp, and she played the bad girl as well as any woman of her time.
In The Silver Horde, her first motion picture with sound, she stars with Jean Arthur as two beautiful women after the same man -- Joel McCrea. Two of her best ‘bad girl’ parts are in Hopalong Cassidy stories, in my humble opinion. Before we get back to the movie, may I ask if you know how to dance the Foxtrot? The Foxtrot is a dance that was invented in the big band era, and is still a popular dance style for swing music fans. The inventor of the foxtrot was Harry Fox, Evelyn Brent's third and final husband.
In the 1936 Hopalong Cassidy adventure Hopalong Cassidy Returns, she receives one of the very few romantic on-screen kisses that Hopalong Cassidy ever delivers. It must have been one great kiss, because this movie is one of the rare times that the leading woman will be invited to appear in a second Hopalong Cassidy story. In this adventure she is the leader of the outlaws, but, like most women in America she has eyes for the handsome and heroic Hopalong Cassidy.
The action is as good as ever, the saloon girls are as pretty as ever, and the leader of the outlaws, Belle Langtry, is as wickedly evil, yet vulnerably in love with Hopalong Cassidy. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
William Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy
Russell Hayden, William Boyd and Andy Clyde
Willliam Boyd and Russell Hayden
Andy Clyde, William Boyd and Russell Hayden
William Boyd is sworn in as Sheriff by Morris Ankrum
Bob Kortman and Roy Barcroft
Ethelreda Leopold and another actress
Evelyn Brent, Ed Cassidy and Victor Jory
Evelyn Brent and Frank Darien
Evelyn Brent and Wen Wright
George Cleveland and Evelyn Brent
Morris Ankrum and Cara Williams
Russell Hayden and William Boyd
Victor Jory and Evelyn Brent
Victor Jory and Hank Bell
William Boyd and Kenneth Harlan
William Boyd and Victor Jory