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Stagecoach War

Stagecoach War(1940)

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Hopalong Cassidy, Lucky Jenkins and Speedy are driving a herd of mustangs to the town of Blue Sky, where they are to be delivered to Jeff Chapman, the owner of the Bar 20 stage line, when they come upon Jeff's runaway stage. The stage has just been robbed by Smiley and his gang of singing outlaws, who have shot Jeff and left him to die. Lucky and Hoppy administer first aid to Jeff, and Lucky drives the stage to the Chapman ranch, where he becomes smitten by Jeff's daughter Shirley. Shirley, however, is in love with Neal Holt, who runs a rival stage line and has designs on Jeff's mail contract. Holt's foreman, Twister Maxwell, is secretly working for Smiley and his gang, tipping them off to gold and silver shipments. Hoppy becomes suspicious of Twister when he sees him riding a lame horse to town and later discovers that a horseshoe found by Speedy near the scene of the robbery fits Twister's horse. This leads Hoppy to suspect Holt, and when the two men begin to quarrel over the merits of the Bar 20 mustangs versus Holt's horses, they agree to a match race with the stage contract as prize. Lucky is appointed driver of the mustang coach, and during the race, he is about to pass Holt's coach on a dangerous mountain curve when he sees Shirley in the coach and throws the race to save her life. Irate townsmen who have bet on the mustangs are for hanging Lucky, until Hoppy intervenes and explains Lucky's gallant act. Holt supports Lucky, and the race is called a draw. Jeff consents to the marriage of Holt and his daughter, and the two men become partners in the stage business. Hoppy then rounds up Smiley and his gang as they attempt to rob the stage, and their work done, Hoppy, Lucky and Speedy start back for the Bar 20.