review for Sunset Trail on AllMovie

Sunset Trail (1938)
by Hans J. Wollstein review

The plot of Sunset Trail was not exactly new when producer Harry Sherman and screenwriter Norman Houston conjured it up back in 1938. Hoot Gibson had done several versions back in the silent era and both Gene Autry and Roy Rogers went on to perform variations on the theme. But played by the likes of William Boyd, George "Gabby" Hayes (before he got that enduring sobriquet), and veteran foil Kathryn Sheldon, the old wheeze about a tough cowboy impersonating a foppish Easterner emerges almost as fresh as a daisy. Boyd visibly enjoys playing the dandy for a change and probably even had something to do with choosing the subject in the first place; by 1938 he had as much say in things as producer Sherman. Director Leslie Selander, meanwhile, makes sure that the burlesque doesn't completely overpower the accustomed shootin'-and-fightin' and the end result remains one of the most entertaining chapters in the long-running "Hopalong Cassidy" saga.