Hoppy remastered on DVD
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Both of these titles "Hopalong Cassidy Returns" and "3 on the Trail" have been beautifully remastered and restored digitally on this edition. The Boyd Cassidy movies were definitely a cut above the typical "B" westerns which were produced in Hollywood during the 30s, 40s, and 50s. As opposed to the typical "B" western, Boyd and the Hopalong Cassidy series brought first class acting and story telling to the screen, especially those from the "early years." These have been released through Image, a company which usually does a good job of remastering. The familiar characters of "Johnny" and "Windy" were also brought to life through the skills of "Gabby" Hayes and Jimmy Ellison, along with some superbly acted vilianous characters played by such staples as Morris Ankrum (appeared in at least 12 Hoppy films as the bad guy) and others. These films have beautiful scenery and location which also adds to their quality. Men and women are portrayed realistically, running the gamut from psychotic killer (Morris Ankrum in Hopalong Cassidy returns) to comedic sidekick (Gabby Hayes "Windy"), to younger romantic member (Johnny Nelson (Jimmy Ellison), to heroin and supporting cowboys, all portrayed with stark realism. This is the mettle of the old west, vividly brought to life through the excellent portrayels of the above mentioned players. These, as stated earlier, are beautiful transfers and deserve to be seen by all who love cowboy movies. They don't make them like this anymore and these surely deserve not to be missed!!!"
Hoppy Cleans Up the Town
Brad Baker | Atherton, Ca United States | 07/10/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"He dresses all in black. He struts around with 2 pearl-handled Colt pistols. He doesn't drink. His horse can make breakfast. He's Hopalong Cassidy. 1935's hit "Hopalong Cassidy Enters" sparked the magic formula for veteran actor William Boyd and his long-running movie and television franchise. This double-feature DVD starts with 1936's "Three on the Trail", co-starring George "Gabby" Hayes and one-time Broadway star Onslow Stevens as the corrupt saloon owner Pecos Kane. Stevens had an interesting Hollywood career. In 1932, he started in films as a leading man. He slipped to character parts,and became famous as mad Dr. Edleman in 1945's "House of Dracula". In later years, his career was adversely affected by alcohol. It is reported that his death in a convalescent home in 1977 was attributed to murder. The second movie, "Hopalong Cassidy Returns" is an exciting shoot-em-up. Villian Blackie Felton drags a wheelchaired cripple through town to his violent death. Hoppy swears revenge. Blackie is played by Stephen Morris, who once worked for Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre. Later, he changed his name to Morris Ankrum, and appeared(often uncredited) in over 170 motion pictures. In the 1950's, Ankrum turned up consistently in low-budget monster movies. These 2 superior Cassidy episodes were filmed in the Alabama Hills, in Lone Pine, Cal., around Mt. Whitney, 400 miles north of Los Angeles. Other locations included Red Rock Canyon in the High Sierra Mountains. The DVD elements have been spruced up with digital audio and visual restoration. There's some sound drop-out, but the picture quality is amazing for 1936. William Boyd continued his very successful Hoppy films into the 1950's, ending with a TV series. He retired, but continued making live appearances for his legions of adoring young fans; almost up until his demise in 1972."
Great production quality
Brad Baker | 10/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hopalong Cassidy movies always had high production quality; for B movies, it is obvious that the producer spent a lot of money--and it shows. Shot on location rather than in a back-lots like most old westerns, the sets and expansive outdoors locations are well represented on film. You just have to like Hoppy in black and George (later called "Gabby") Hayes as "Windy." Plenty of good acting, action, a touch of comedy, and, of course, Hoppy's famous laugh. Old Westerns just don't get better than this. The quality of these DVDs is quite good. You may have to re-set the disk to mono sound to enhance quality, but once you do it is great. The picture quality looks like the movie was shot yesterday. What a great way to spend a Saturday morning watching Hoppy catch the crooks."
"round-up time at the Bar-20...you're dern tootin'"
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 10/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Once again our silver-haired hero in black Hop-A-Long Cassidy, with the help of Johnny Nelson (Jimmy Ellison) and Windy Halliday (George "Gabby" Hayes), Hoppy's two trail wranglers try to feed hungry settlers during the great depression in Plainsville...Hoppy goes up against some tough polecats (Morris Ankrum) and it spells trouble...strong storyline with fast-paced action and a beautiful backdrop of Lone Pine, California...gives this film the wide open spaces with breathtaking moments.William Boyd (Hoppy), ranked high on the list of "Western Roundup" heroes, riding his white steed Topper, with blazing pearl-handled six-guns, as the rustlers and outlaws reached for the sky. Both features are top-notch film-making, outstanding directing from Nate Watt...Boyd gave his character life, his word was his bond...never quit on a friend in need and always give the other fellow an even break...this was the way of the early west...and this was the code he lived by, they'll never be another HOP-A-LONG CASSIDY!Total Time: 65 Mins (3 on the Trail-1936)
Total Time: 74 Mins (Hopalong Cassidy Returns-1936)"