This compilation film edited from the three part half hour television show that gives us the story of the origins of The Lone Ranger was something I vividly remember as a child. Looking back now and seeing it again it looks kind of silly, except maybe to the eyes of a six year old.
A wounded mixed race renegade named Collins played by George J. Lewis comes into Texas Ranger Headquarters with a bullet wound and information about the whereabouts of Butch Cavendish one of the most notorious outlaws of the Old West. Captain Reid played by Tris Coffin goes in pursuit of the gang and one of the Ranger company is his younger brother John.
But it's a trap, the murderous Cavendish gang led by Glenn Strange has it in mind to get the Rangers into a box canyon and shoot them down. News of a massacre of law enforcement officials would allegedly send terror into their hearts and they'd know better than to pursue the Cavendish gang.
Collins does the dirty betrayal, but he's shot down like the rest. Only one badly wounded ranger survives and he's nursed by an Indian named Tonto. But instead of a natural bent for vengeance, the surviving ranger who was the younger Reid brother decides on a quest to bring law and order to the west by apprehending criminals wherever he goes. And the appropriate name for this crusader, The Lone Ranger.
Of course first things first and the rest of the film deals with the apprehension of Cavendish and his gang. I remember a later episode of the series had the Lone Ranger and Tonto capturing Glenn Strange again after he busts out of prison. But that's later on.
Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels set the standard for The Lone Ranger and Tonto, most people can't recall anyone else ever playing them. And we all well remember how Moore until the day he died literally lived the part by always appearing masked in public. Only Bela Lugosi as Dracula ever carried a single role so much over into his private life.
The film is as badly edited as some serial compilations are and the plot does get a bit silly at times. Still it's The Lone Ranger, probably the greatest fictional western hero ever.
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