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Hopalong Cassidy vs. Gene Autry


ElCid
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StarzWestern channel has been showing Hopalong Cassidy movies and TV shows on Saturdays for some time now.  They used to show Gene Autry movies, but no longer.

My wife asked me about Hoppy's first name and I looked it up.  Movies were based on short stories by Clarence Munford beginning in 1904.  He was rude, dangerous and rough talking and his sidekick was worse.  Then along came Hollywood in the 30's and William Boyd.  Apparently he became Hoppy because he either had a wooden leg or was shot in the leg.

Personally, I like the Autry movies a whole lot more than the Cassidy movies.  When I was a young whipper-snapper, I had a Hopalong Cassidy mug.

As for Perry Mason, the connection is that the TV version is whole lot cleaner than the original Erle Stanley Gardner character.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopalong_Cassidy

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41 minutes ago, TheCid said:

Personally, I like the Autry movies a whole lot more than the Cassidy movies.  When I was a young whipper-snapper, I had a Hopalong Cassidy mug.

And I had a plastic bank that my dad got me, with a replica of Hopalong's head, and the hat could be removed to get out my pennies. But I'd still rather go with Leonard Slye than either Gene or William. I'd rather not get into a few other reasons about Hoppy for my decision if you follow my drift.

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I still have Hopalong Cassidy trading cards. They're dated 1950 (before I was born) so I suspect a relative must have given them to me when I was a kid. I think I have a few ViewMaster slides as well. I have a Gene Autry novel, and also his recording of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." It's a 78 rpm. I used to play it on a small record player. When Autry got to the line "then all the reindeer loved him," the record would skip and you would keep hearing "loved him ... loved him ... loved him ..." I used to crack up at that.

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55 minutes ago, GordonCole said:

And I had a plastic bank that my dad got me, with a replica of Hopalong's head, and the hat could be removed to get out my pennies. But I'd still rather go with Leonard Slye than either Gene or William. I'd rather not get into a few other reasons about Hoppy for my decision if you follow my drift.

Found an interesting article on the internet.  Apparently William Lawrence Boyd (Hopalong) and William "Stage" Boyd.  Cannot verify the validity of the post though.  See the comments.

https://truewestmagazine.com/the-real-hopalong-cassidy/

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3 minutes ago, TheCid said:

Found an interesting article on the internet.  Apparently William Lawrence Boyd (Hopalong) and William "Stage" Boyd.  Cannot verify the validity of the post though.  See the comments.

https://truewestmagazine.com/the-real-hopalong-cassidy/

Far be it from me to besmirch the character of any actor without proof, so I won't reveal what I've been told but I've heard quite a lot more than what is mentioned in that article, but don't know the veracity of any of it. Such remarks were given to me by people in the collecting field of western articles who were privy supposedly to many aspects of Boyd's later career as a tv cowboy icon.

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Some of William (Hopalong) Boyd's obituaries add to the confusion, stating he appeared in the 1930 version of The Spoilers; but that was William Stage Boyd. These obituaries also mention that in the 1930s he got in trouble for drinking and gambling, but again, that was William Stage Boyd.

This is not to say that William Boyd was a saint. In 1969, after having surgery to remove a tumor from his neck, Boyd told an interviewer "I'm not the man people remember as Hopalong Cassidy. They'd be shocked at the difference. I don't want to tamper with their memories." But he seemed to take his position as a role model seriously. "When you've got kids looking up to you," he once said, "when you've got parents saying what a wonderful guy Hoppy is, what the hell do you do? You've got to be a wonderful guy."

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My brother was a big Hopalong freak due to Boyd's syndication of his old films chopped into t TV series.  Autry seemed to come from a whole different era to "boomers".  

Personally, as far as TV westerns went, I was more into GUY MADISON and RORY CALHOUN as Wild Bill Hickok and The Westerner respectively.  And too, later heard there was belief that the two were into EACH OTHER as well!  ;)

Sepiatone

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I think the Cassidy Paramount films are better than the Autry films. And Boyd was certainly a much better actor than Autry. The best part of the Autry films were the songs. Unfortunately, when Hollywood Film Enterprises (a Republic subsidiary) released the films to television in the 50's, they cut them all to 54 minutes. The early films didn't suffer much as they ran about 56-60 minutes. But the post-'38 films all ran seven reels and were heavily cut. And what did they cut? Most of the songs! Thankfully, the films have since been restored to full length. The one thing the Autry Republics benefited from were the great musical scores done by the same team who did the studio's serial scores.

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Have no idea why, but for some reason I have come to enjoy the Gene Autry movies in the last several years.  Of course, they are no longer on Spectrum Cable.  Would probably be interested in some DVD's, but a lot were not that good and it is hard to tell from descriptions and titles which ones were the good ones.  There are are a lot of sets available, but then again probably some not very good ones in each and maybe no good ones.

As for Autry's singing, when I recorded the movies, sometimes I would fast forward through the singing depending on the song.  I would say his shows were about 60/40 good vs. not so good songs.

Not sure why, but I just don't find Hoppy that entertaining.  When it pretty much replaced Gene on StarzWestern I was somewhat looking forward to it.  Watched a few movies and a few TV shows, but no longer.

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21 hours ago, Ray Faiola said:

I think the Cassidy Paramount films are better than the Autry films. And Boyd was certainly a much better actor than Autry. The best part of the Autry films were the songs. Unfortunately, when Hollywood Film Enterprises (a Republic subsidiary) released the films to television in the 50's, they cut them all to 54 minutes. The early films didn't suffer much as they ran about 56-60 minutes. But the post-'38 films all ran seven reels and were heavily cut. And what did they cut? Most of the songs! Thankfully, the films have since been restored to full length. The one thing the Autry Republics benefited from were the great musical scores done by the same team who did the studio's serial scores.

We should mention that Autry finished out his Republic contract when he returned from the war and moved over to Columbia. From 1947 to 1953 he made 33 features at Columbia.

Roy Rogers, however, stayed at Republic.

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Vaughn Monroe, (with his Moon Men and his Moon Maids) would stomp all over the Melody Ranch, the Sons of the Sagebrush, the Minstrels of the Mesquite, and anyone else who gets in his way! Vaughn himself would use his own nose as a battering ram to break up the cottonwood logs at the gate. Then His Boys would do away with Gene's lead steer, pour coal oil over the ranch house, and run off the remuda.

"Vengeance of the Yellow Yodeler" (1952). Special catfight cameo by Dale Evans and the Girls of the Golden West.

Coming soon to a Country Buffet, a Cracker Barrel (brand) Restaurant, or a Bonanza or Ponderosa steakhouse near you!

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