Undercover Man (1942)

68 mins | Western | 23 October 1942

Director:

Lesley Selander

Producer:

Harry Sherman

Cinematographer:

Russell Harlan

Editor:

Carrol Lewis

Production Designer:

Ralph Berger

Production Company:

Harry Sherman Productions
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Hands Across the Border and Across the Border . Screen credits list Sound Services, Inc. as the recording company, but a release dialogue continuity included in copyright records lists the company as General Service Studios. HR news items reported the following information about the production: Paramount consulted with Mexican authorities regarding the script and casting, in keeping with the "good neighbor" policy that was being promoted at the time. As a result of requests by the Mexican authorities, Mexican characters were played by actors of Mexican descent, and the the original title, Hands Across the Border , was altered to Across the Border because the word hands "over-emphasized the good neighbor attitude."
       Ella Boros was first considered for the female lead until the character was determined to be Mexican; she was then replaced by Esther Estrella. In addition, Bill George was initially cast as a replacement for Brad King, after King was inducted into the Army. George was then replaced by Jay Kirby, who, with this film, became "Hopalong Cassidy's" younger sidekick in the series. Modern sources include the following actors in the cast: Bennett George, Ted Wells, Martin Garralaga, Joe Dominguez, Earle Hodgins and Frank Ellis. This was the first film in the series to be released by United Artists. For further information on the "Hopalong Cassidy" series, see the entry for Hop-Along Cassidy in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.1990, and consult the Series ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Hands Across the Border and Across the Border . Screen credits list Sound Services, Inc. as the recording company, but a release dialogue continuity included in copyright records lists the company as General Service Studios. HR news items reported the following information about the production: Paramount consulted with Mexican authorities regarding the script and casting, in keeping with the "good neighbor" policy that was being promoted at the time. As a result of requests by the Mexican authorities, Mexican characters were played by actors of Mexican descent, and the the original title, Hands Across the Border , was altered to Across the Border because the word hands "over-emphasized the good neighbor attitude."
       Ella Boros was first considered for the female lead until the character was determined to be Mexican; she was then replaced by Esther Estrella. In addition, Bill George was initially cast as a replacement for Brad King, after King was inducted into the Army. George was then replaced by Jay Kirby, who, with this film, became "Hopalong Cassidy's" younger sidekick in the series. Modern sources include the following actors in the cast: Bennett George, Ted Wells, Martin Garralaga, Joe Dominguez, Earle Hodgins and Frank Ellis. This was the first film in the series to be released by United Artists. For further information on the "Hopalong Cassidy" series, see the entry for Hop-Along Cassidy in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.1990, and consult the Series Index. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16 May 1942.
---
Daily Variety
30 Jan 1942.
---
Daily Variety
22 Feb 1942.
---
Daily Variety
6 May 1942.
---
Film Daily
7 May 42
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jan 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Feb 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Feb 42
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Feb 42
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Feb 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
6 May 42
p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 May 42
p. 647.
Variety
6 May 42
p. 27.
Variety
6 Jan 43
p. 50.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Hands Across the Border
Across the Border
Release Date:
23 October 1942
Production Date:
began 16 February 1942
Copyright Claimant:
United Artists Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
10 December 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11752
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Wide Range System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
68
Length(in feet):
6,128
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
8309
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Mexican rancher Tomas Gonzales and his ranch hands cross the border into Texas to consult with Captain John Hawkins about American raids on Mexican ranches. Hawkins, an old friend of Tomas, tells him in turn that Texans have been raided by Mexican outlaws. Realizing that they would be recognized if they tried to investigate themselves, Hawkins sends for his friend, Hopalong Cassidy. On their way, Hoppy and his friends, California Carlson and Breezy Travers, are ambushed, but manage to scare off their attackers in a gunfight. Tomas warmly welcomes Hoppy and his friends to his ranch, and introduces them to his right-hand man Miguel, his daughter Dolores, and his American friend, Donna Louise, and her son Bob, who have lived with him since the death of Donna Louise's husband years earlier. California immediately becomes friendly with the widowed cook, Rosita, while Bob and Breezy vie for the affection of Dolores. When the wagon train from a local mine is attacked, Hoppy and local ranchers ride to the scene of the crime, but the bandits have escaped with the gold by the time they arrive. The next day, Hoppy, California, Breezy and Miguel are out riding when another mule train is attacked, and rancher Chavez privately tells Tomas that he saw Hoppy with the outlaws. Tomas doubts that Hoppy could be an outlaw, but warns Miguel not to leave the American's side. Meanwhile, a freight wagon is attacked in Texas, and witnesses report having seen Tomas at the scene of the crime. When Hoppy visits Hawkins, he meets his deputy, Ed Carson, and Hawkins warns Hoppy to be wary of Tomas, although he doubts his ... +


Mexican rancher Tomas Gonzales and his ranch hands cross the border into Texas to consult with Captain John Hawkins about American raids on Mexican ranches. Hawkins, an old friend of Tomas, tells him in turn that Texans have been raided by Mexican outlaws. Realizing that they would be recognized if they tried to investigate themselves, Hawkins sends for his friend, Hopalong Cassidy. On their way, Hoppy and his friends, California Carlson and Breezy Travers, are ambushed, but manage to scare off their attackers in a gunfight. Tomas warmly welcomes Hoppy and his friends to his ranch, and introduces them to his right-hand man Miguel, his daughter Dolores, and his American friend, Donna Louise, and her son Bob, who have lived with him since the death of Donna Louise's husband years earlier. California immediately becomes friendly with the widowed cook, Rosita, while Bob and Breezy vie for the affection of Dolores. When the wagon train from a local mine is attacked, Hoppy and local ranchers ride to the scene of the crime, but the bandits have escaped with the gold by the time they arrive. The next day, Hoppy, California, Breezy and Miguel are out riding when another mule train is attacked, and rancher Chavez privately tells Tomas that he saw Hoppy with the outlaws. Tomas doubts that Hoppy could be an outlaw, but warns Miguel not to leave the American's side. Meanwhile, a freight wagon is attacked in Texas, and witnesses report having seen Tomas at the scene of the crime. When Hoppy visits Hawkins, he meets his deputy, Ed Carson, and Hawkins warns Hoppy to be wary of Tomas, although he doubts his old friend is a thief. California's romance with Rosita progresses, but he is unaware that Miguel has withheld a letter informing her that her husband is alive and will be returning soon. One night, Hoppy and his friends spread out and watch the departures from the hacienda. Breezy follows a man riding a white horse, who he thinks is Hoppy, but to his surprise, the rider fires at him and he is forced to turn back. Tomas rides up as Breezy tells Hoppy what he saw, and both Hoppy and Tomas confide their suspicions about each other. They then realize that someone they know must be working against them, and follow the rider's tracks to the abandoned Gonzales winery. Inside, California finds a secret doorway in a wine casket, which leads to a cave where horses and clothing matching those worn by Hoppy and Tomas are kept. Hoppy is suspicious of Bob, who only recently returned from college and may have known about the cave since childhood, and the next day, he and his friends follow Bob from the hacienda to a remote shack. There Bob confers with Carson, the cover leader of the outlaws, who refuses to accept Bob's resignation from the gang. Hoppy rides to the local sheriff and finds an old wanted poster with Carson's picture on it. When another freight wagon is attacked, Hoppy and a posse of ranchers open fire against the outlaws. Hawkins arrives with his deputies soon after and arrests the gang. When a rider resembling Hoppy attempts to escape, Hawkins fires his gun, and is shocked to discover that the rider is Donna Louise. Donna Louise confesses that the ringleader was blackmailing Bob, who was wrongly accused of murder. Donna Louise submitted to the blackmailer's demands that she impersonate Hoppy and Tomas to mislead the investigators. Bob then admits to having advised the outlaws of mine shipments. Donna Louise passes out before she can name the ringleader, but Hoppy has already singled him out as Carson, and informs Hawkins that his deputy is actually a wanted outlaw. Carson is arrested and the hacienda returns to its normal activities. California is shocked when Rosita's husband comes to reclaim his wife, and has to be restrained against harming Miguel by an amused Hoppy. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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