Cast & Crew
Texas Rangers Hopalong Cassidy, California and Johnny are assigned to the border patrol, and cross into Mexico to consult with Mexican authorities about a murder. La Barca, the Mexican commandant, explains that the Silver Bullet Mine in the U.S. has been recruiting Mexican workers, but the men have never returned or contacted their families. The commandant's friend, Don Enrique Perez, disappeared during his investigation and his vaquero returned with his horse, but was mysteriously shot before he could talk. La Barca's daughter Inez distrusts the Rangers, although they have papers proving their commission, and follows them across the border to investigate the Silver Bullet Mine herself. As soon as the Rangers arrive, they are shot at and captured by Orestes Krebs, the self-appointed mayor, sheriff and judge of Silver Bullet City. Krebs charges the Rangers with trespassing and with the murder of Enrique and his vaquero, even though one of Krebs's guards has already confessed to Hoppy. When Inez rides into the town, Krebs convinces her that the Rangers are guilty and holds a kangaroo court, in which the jury is comprised of his outlaw confederates. Inez testifies against the Rangers, who are then found guilty and sentenced to hang. Before going to jail, Hoppy advises Inez to check out the mines, and Krebs gives her a tour after making sure that the Mexican workers whom he has enslaved are out of sight. During the tour, however, Enrique purposely drops his hat for Inez to see, and calls to her from within the mine shaft. Inez pretends she did not hear his call and offers to make dinner for Krebs and his gang. After Inez slips a gun and ammunition into the food that is being served to the prisoners, Hoppy, California and Johnny escape just before they are to be hanged. During the ensuing gunfight, several of Krebs's outlaws are shot, and the Rangers and Inez escape to the mines. The disgruntled Mexican workers aid the Rangers in capturing Krebs's guards at the mine, and Inez is reunited with her beloved Enrique. Hoppy uses Krebs's own equipment against him, and with the help of the Mexican workers, the Rangers encircle Krebs and his gang with wagons and exchange gunfire until the gang surrenders. Krebs, however, escapes, only to be captured and arrested by Hopalong. Krebs insists that he has done nothing illegal, as he is the law in Silver Bullet City, but Hoppy reminds him that he is still in the United States, where contract labor and peonage are illegal. The Rangers force Krebs at gunpoint to pay the Mexican workers, and Johnny is disappointed to learn that Inez is engaged to Enrique.
The working title of this film was Missing Men. A modern source adds Merrill McCormack and Earle Hodgins to the cast. For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index and see entry for Hop-Along Cassidy in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.1990.