Riders of the Deadline


1h 10m 1943

Brief Synopsis

With writer Bennett Cohen recycling the same script he had used at Republic in 1941 for Don Barry's "Desert Bandit", this 50th entry in the "Hopalong Cassidy" series finds Ranger Hopalong Cassidy (William Boyd) falling into disrepute and leaving the service, because of the death of his pal and young protege Tim Mason (Richard Crane), who had lost his good standing through the suspicion that he was implicated with a band of smugglers, who had been using his ranch as a hideout. With the aid of his pals, California Carlson (Andy Clyde) and Jimmy Rogers (Jimmy Rogers), Cassidy tracks down the outlaw gang, invades their hideout, and captures or kills the leaders, and regains both his and Tim's good names, while revealing his discharge from the Rangers was a plot hatched by him and Ranger Captain Jennings (Herbert Rawlinson).

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 3, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Harry Sherman Productions
Distribution Company
United Artists Productions, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on characters created by Clarence E. Mulford.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

Texas Rangers Hopalong Cassidy, California Carlson and Jimmy Rogers rescue their friend, rancher Tim Mason, from a saloon, when Tim loses all his money in a card game to the outlaw "Gunner" Madigan. Tim's sister Sue then surprises them with a celebration because Tim has been appointed a Texas Ranger through Hoppy's influence. Tim goes to the bank and, as his loan is due that day, admits to bank president Simon Crandall that he has squandered his loan on gambling instead of replenishing his cattle. Crandall earns Tim's trust by promising his help so that Tim's fears of losing the ranch will be dissuaded. Crandall, however, is the mastermind behind a smuggling operation and intends to blackmail Tim into allowing his wagons to cross the border on Tim's land. After Tim is sworn in as a Texas Ranger, Madigan shows him that he now holds the note against his ranch, and demands that Tim allow his wagons to cross the land. Tim refuses to allow the wagons to pass, and Madigan's cohort, Nick Drago, knocks him unconscious. Just then, Hoppy, California and Jimmy happen to ride by and after exchanging gunfire with the outlaws, capture the wagon. The dying driver says that he thought the Rangers were paid off. Tim is arrested by Texas Ranger head Captain Jennings after he refuses to defend himself. Hoppy assures Sue that Tim will never see a trial, but Tim refuses to speak to him. When Hoppy leaves the jail, deputy sheriff Martin, who is in cahoots with Crandall, murders Tim, and frames Hoppy for assisting Tim's supposed jailbreak attempt. Circumstantial evidence works against Hoppy and after he angrily strikes Jennings, he is dismissed from the Rangers. A disgruntled Hoppy joins up with Madigan, and for his initiation steals back the supply wagon. Hoppy is captured, and reports his findings to Jennings, for whom he is actually working undercover. Jennings then releases him, but to maintain his cover, makes it look as if Hoppy has escaped. Crandall, in the meantime, takes over Sue's ranch operations with her cooperation, ostensibly so that she can slowly pay off Tim's loan. Unknown to Sue, Crandall uses her barn to store smuggled goods. When Sue's ranch hand Sourdough reports that their own supplies are being stolen, she and Sourdough discover the boxes of smuggled weapons and are captured by Madigan's gang. Fearing further discovery, Madigan plans his escape. Hoppy, meanwhile, knocks out Drago and releases Sue after she tells him about Crandall's involvement. Madigan confronts Crandall at the bank and Crandall murders him. The Rangers then shoot Drago to keep him from murdering Hoppy, and Crandall is arrested. Hoppy is promoted to captain and given charge of his own Rangers outpost, after which he, California and Jimmy bid farewell to Sue.

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 3, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Harry Sherman Productions
Distribution Company
United Artists Productions, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on characters created by Clarence E. Mulford.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, actor Richard Crane replaced John James, who was drafted into the U.S. Army prior to production. This film was shot on location in Lone Pine, CA. Modern sources include Art Felix, Roy Bucko and Cliff Parkinson in the cast. For additional information on the series, please consult the Series Index and see entry for Hop-Along Cassidy in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.1990.