William Boyd in Santa Fe Marshal (1940)

The Magic of Hopalong

When a town finds themselves struggling with outlaws robbing the payroll the sheriff sends a telegram to the US Marshal asking for help. So Marshal Hoppy (William Boyd) heads to town but not as a Marshal but a mind reader in a travelling medicine act so that he can find out who is behind all the robberies. And Hoppy finds out it is sweet Ma Burton (Marjorie Rambeau) who is organizing all the criminal activity. Trouble is that when Lucky (Russell Hayden) makes it to town he inadvertently lets slip who Hoppy really is and in doing so putting him in danger.

When ever you have a long running series of movies you will find that you get a wide variation in episodes. Take the Hopalong Cassidy movies; whilst many of the movies were just regular oaters some were a little more serious and others had a bit more of an emphasis on the comical. "Santa Fe Marshal" was one of those more comical episodes with a much greater focus on the humour of the characters as Hoppy masquerades as a mind reader with a travelling show. And it is amusing just as amusing as having the ring leader of all the trouble being sweet Ma Burton who no one would suspect of being a master criminal.

And to be honest having watched a few Hopalong Cassidy movies "Santa Fe Marshal" is entertaining because of the characters and circumstances. But again it is one of those hour long-ish oaters from a bygone era which somehow managed to deliver so much which could have been lifted out of previous episodes when it came to the storyline. Basically whilst you had the humour it again traded on the popularity of William Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy to draw audiences in.

What this all boils down to is that "Santa Fe Marshal" is certainly an entertaining Hopalong Cassidy movie but that is more down to the comical characters than the actual storyline which when you strip it of the characters is mostly typical.