The basic premise it this: Steve Haines is a wily and mildly rakish reporter who gets on the trail a disgraced businessman who has cheated many people out of their life's savings. Intrigued by the possibility of hunting this guy for a solid byline, Haines sets up camp around his life (much to the chagrin of his grumpy boss), following him wherever he goes. Slowly others become involved, and the chase is on.
Eventually the trail leads Haines aboard an ocean liner...it's destination? Murder!
Go Get-em Haines is a perfect movie to see what the older Bill Boyd would have been like if he hadn't become Hoppy. It shows off his ability to be light hearted and quick, but, while highly entertaining, it also shows that westerns really were his true calling. He wasn't the kind of handsome that this type of thing called for, and he was almost 42 when he made it. I feel that it showed he wasn't going to grow into this sparky, youthful role very well. Boyd is best suited for a more serious minded character, and though I thought he played Steve Haines well enough, it seemed a good time for him to have gone with what the fans liked best.
I came to these kinds of non-Hoppy Boyd films later in life, and it's like seeing an old friend when he was in high school. He was still generally the same Bill Boyd that I'd come to know and admire, but he was also very different. Early Boyd is jaunty and enthusiastic, fast-talking, and at times, even a little bit of a smart aleck.. It's nice to see my hero with his hat off, so to speak.
Like his earlier films, such as the incredible 1927 silent The Yankee Clipper (which I reviewed HERE), and High Voltage from 1929 (co-starring a VERY young and lovely Carole Lombard), Go Get-em Haines is an absolute must for any fan of William Boyd and Hopalong Cassidy. It's so fun to seen him in such different contexts, and it fleshes out the man who in turn, fleshed out our favourite cowboy hero.