THREE MEN FROM TEXAS was the thirty-first of sixty-six Hopalong Cassidy films. Actor William Boyd essayed the role into a career. Not bad for a man originally offered the role of Red Conners, a pal of Hoppy’s from the Clarence Mulford novels. The Hoppy mosy folks know is far different from the roots of the character. The movie Hoppy didn’t drink, swear, or ever start a fight.
But he became a cultural icon.
In this film, Hoppy is a Texas Ranger asked to go to California as a favor to help an old friend of the Captain’s that was a banker now in a small town overrun by lawlessness and a man named Morgan that was taking control of most of the land in the area.
Hoppy turns him down. His hitch as a Ranger was nearing it’s end and he was anxious to return to the Bar-20. But not so his friend Lucky Jenkins(Russell Hayden), a young man that idolized Hoppy and wanted to be like him. He wanted to go and meet some beautiful senoritas. Hoppy rides a ways with him, then peels off to go back.
That’s when he gets mistaken by an old man named California Carlson(Andy Clyde), a cook for an outlaw band looking for an outlaw riding in, Ben Stokes(Glen Strange, an actor known for his role as Kitty’s bartender on Gunsmoke). California is a man given to bragging about his accomplishments. a harmless old coot the perfect sidekick for westerns of this era.
The three team up, aided by Mexicans reduced to lawless acts to live after being forced off their ranches for squatting. That one man had lived on his family ranch for forty years mattered not to the rich man Bruce Morgan(Morris Ankrum) and his thugs.
Rip roaring gun battles, a lynch mob over Hoppy’s protests, and even the beautiful senorita Lucky wanted to meet highlight the big finale.
Loked this one.