Cassidy's Four Aces
Baron Rendor (Morris Ankrum) arrives in town under the pretence of being a horse trader from across the sea in Europe. What no one in town realises is that Rendor is in fact a crooked gambler who is more adept at a bit of horse theft. What the Baron doesn't count on is the suspicious tendencies of Hopalong Cassidy (William Boyd) who arrives in town to and immediately thinks there is something dodgy. His feelings are backed when he enters a game of cards with the Baron and after being dealt 4 aces pulls one over on the Baron and then marking his winnings because he knows a sore loser will try and steal them back.
I think anyone who has loved westerns at some point in their lives will have heard of the name of Hopalong Cassidy although I do wonder how many would have watched a Hopalong Cassidy western. I've had the pleasure of watching a few in amongst the various old westerns I have sat through and I do mean pleasure because often there would be one or two scenes in them which were smart and those scenes always made them stand out from the crowd.
That brings me to "The Showdown" which for the most is a regular early western, one of those which ran for around the hour and had a familiar formula alongside a musical interlude here and there. As such we have this corrupt businessman in the Baron who plans to steal a couple of horses and then use them to fix a race. But what stands out about "The Showdown" is the card game scene where when Hopalong sees he has been dealt guesses that the Baron will pick what cards he needs and have a straight so against what people expect Hopalong requests two, spoiling the Barons hand. It is that moment of being smart which makes "The Showdown" that little bit more memorable than other similar westerns.
What this all boils down to is that "The Showdown" despite being over 75 years old still has that little bit extra about it which makes it stand out from the many other westerns made during the 1930s and early 40s, making it worth a watch for western fans.