Trail Dust (1937)

Genres - Western  |   Sub-Genres - B-Western  |   Release Date - Dec 11, 1936 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 77 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Hans J. Wollstein

At long last, a B-Western whose title actually reflects its content. There is plenty of dust in Trail Dust, a rather solemn Hopalong Cassidy series entry that actually managed to reflect the tenor of the times. Villains Stephen Roberts (aka Morris Ankrum) and Ted Adams are exploiting the starving populace and, although the film is set in the late 19th century, a Depression-weary audience would have wholly sympathized with their plight. To counter the grim goings-on (several of Hoppy's men are murdered along the way), there is also a bit of camp-fire warbling and young James Ellison croons "Wide Open Spaces" and "Beneath a Western Sky," both by Harry Tobias and Jack Stern. Romance is otherwise kept to a minimum as Hoppy (William Boyd), Windy (George "Gabby" Hayes), and Johnny Nelson (Ellison) fight the nefarious Panhandle Cattle Association. When all is said and done, however, Trail Dust is almost too downbeat for its own good.