Sinister Journey (1948) Poster

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Better than I expected
TC-411 October 2001
I have been watching all the Hoppy movies on the Western Channel for over a year and from what I saw and what critics have said is that the ones made from 1935 to about 1942 were the best ones and from that point they started to go downhill and the ones produced by William Boyd which this one was were the poorest in quality. Well I cannot agree as this one was certainly one of the best ones ever. It had to do with problems at a railroad co. and there were plenty of scenes of trains and they did not look like stock footage and the plot was not boring. I enjoyed this Hoppy movie and I recommend it.
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More mystery than Western & no action
wrbtu10 November 2001
AKA "Two Gun Territory." Unfortunately, neither of the two guns in the alternate (rerelease?) title belonged to Hoppy. He's completely gunless throughout this movie (is this the only movie in the series in which he never carries a gun?). Although I was tipped off at the outset by his rancher's (non-black) clothes & hat, I did expect at least a little action in this film. It's hardly a "western," in that there are no gunfights involving Hoppy (although others use guns a couple of times), no horse chases, & only one fist fight (again, not involving Hoppy). Lucky doesn't even get to do his "usual thing" with the young heroine, because in this movie, she's married! The plot is set up like a mystery in a western setting; the music soundtrack is also much more that of a mystery movie than a western movie. Plenty of comedy, though, & some of it was pretty good, but this film is one of the poorest in the Hopalong Cassidy series, as well as being one of the last half dozen films Boyd made as Cassidy. Even the Hopalong Cassidy TV series had more action (& certainly more mystery) than this film. Disappointing, even to a great Hoppy fan. I had to rate it only 4/10.
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6/10
Another Randomly Titled But Well Done Hoppy
boblipton24 August 2019
In the 63rd of the 66th Hopalong Cassidy movies, William Boyd and pals Andy Clyde and Rand Brooks are working on the railroad. It seems that Hoppy knows the CEO of the line, just as he knows everyone west of the Pecos, and daughter Elaine Riley has gotten married to John Kellogg, and there's been some mighty strange things going on.... and when someone gets killed, it's up to Hoppy to clear Kellogg.

The Hopalong Cassidy series often seemed more concerned in putting Boyd in a situation where cattlemen wouldn't be seen -- although I don't think I've seen any where he's in favor of sheep. That said, it's a well shot and directed effort, with a story that makes a good deal of sense. Boyd was a competent actor, if not the best of line readers, the series was popular and he clearly spent money as executive producer that showed up on screen, resulting in a very nice B Western.
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6/10
One for train buffs!
JohnHowardReid8 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
CAST: William Boyd, Andy Clyde, Rand Brooks, Elaine Riley, John Kellogg, Don Haggerty, Stanley Andrews, Harry Strang, John Butler, Herbert Rawlinson, Will Orleans, Wayne C. Treadway.

Running time: 59 minutes. (Available on an excellent Platinum Disc DVD).

COMMENT: If you're not a railroad fan, you'll probably not enjoy this movie a quarter as much as I did. Actually photographed in the Owens Valley yards of the Carson and Colorado Railroad, it's a real feast for steam locomotive buffs. Admittedly, the story, such as it is, runs a distinct second place. Little more than an excuse to photograph freight trains, it offers nothing along the lines of conventional "B"-western action and not a great deal more in the way of suspense. We know who the villain is right from the start - and Hoppy himself is on the right trail from the word "go" too. Alas, there's no femme interest either. The one girl in the cast is placidly played by Elaine Riley, minus the enigmatic demeanor she vividly brought to her role in The Devil's Playground (number 55 in the series). Stanley Andrews plays the railroad chief in his usual bombastic style and almost manages to convince us that he's as stupid as the script paints him (although how such a thickhead comes to be in charge of a railroad is not explained). Hoppy, looking particularly well-groomed in light gray, does not carry a gun and leaves all the action to the hired help. This must be the only entry in which his long-time stunt double, Ted Wells, was not employed. Best acting comes from little-known Will Orleans as a shakedown hobo. Not that it matters. In this one, the trains take center stage!
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6/10
"I thought I told you to keep out of my business."
classicsoncall24 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
There's bad blood between railroad vice president Tom Smith (Stanley Andrews) and son-in-law Lee Garvin (John Kellogg), who married the executive's daughter against the man's wishes. With a series of accidents affecting the railroad company, Smith sends for old pal Hopalong Cassidy (William Boyd) to investigate, assuming that Hoppy will find Garvin responsible.

The story opens with an element I've never seen before in a few hundred Westerns. Hoppy and his pals Lucky Jenkins (Rand Brooks) and California Carlson (Andy Clyde) come upon the Garvin homestead quite by chance, and wife Jessie (Elaine Riley) is suffering the effects of loco weed tainted water! Following Hoppy's quick diagnosis, Jessie recuperates in record time and feels well enough to cook dinner for the boys; I don't think I've ever heard of a recovery that quick - amazing!

I got a kick out of the ruse the railroad employee and Hoppy pulled on California when they sent him out to look for red lantern oil and a bucket of steam. It reminded me of my ancient Boy Scout days when we would send out a new tenderfoot scout to a neighboring campsite to bring back a smoke shifter or a left handed screwdriver. Hey, maybe that idea came from a Hopalong Cassidy movie too!

Well it doesn't take long for Hoppy to ferret out Smith's secretary Harmon Roberts (Don Haggerty) as the villain of the piece, framing Garvin for forgery and murder to gain control of Smith's oil land deeds. Other viewers on this board pointed out the fact that Hoppy made it through the whole story without the use of firearms. To tell you the truth, I didn't even notice. I was thinking about how you could capture a bucket of steam.
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5/10
Hoppy's working on the railroad
bkoganbing20 July 2014
For some reason William Boyd decided not to wear his six guns for this film Sinister Journey. It made for a rather actionless climax something Hopalong Cassidy fans are not used to.

This film has Hoppy and his sidekicks Rand Brooks and Andy Clyde answer a call from Hoppy's old friend Stanley Andrews a railroad Vice President. Things are going wrong on his railroad construction gang and he thinks the culprit is his own son-in-law John Kellogg who ran away with his daughter Elaine Riley. Kellogg he thinks is a fortune hunter.

Hoppy, Lucky, and California all met Kellogg and Riley before getting to camp and Hoppy formed a good opinion of him. Good enough that it withstood the revelation of Kellogg's prison time.

There is in fact a plot against Andrews and his family, one very carefully conceived and nearly brought off. And isn't Kellogg who Andrews should have been concerned about.

More plot than most Hoppy films, but a lot less action.
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