20 March 2001 | Shield-3
A Film That Cries Out for Restoration
"The Lone Ranger" is yet another classic from the Republic thrill factory, one of the best serials ever. It has fine acting (for a serial, anyway), exciting action, thrilling music, and a clever and intelligent plot. Part of the fun is that, unlike most films of this genre, the villain is well-known; the characters (and audience) have to figure out which of the five male leads is the masked Lone Ranger.
I wish I could say "The Lone Ranger" was as exciting to watch as other classic serials as "Spy Smasher" or "Adventures of Captain Marvel," but... unfortunately, due to the serial's divergence from the official Lone Ranger image, most copies were apparently destroyed. My public-domain copy is pieced together from Mexican and French copies, and rendered almost unwatchable by poor picture quality, Spanish subtitles from the Mexican prints, and horrible dubbing in the French prints. The overall effect of the film's state makes it almost unwatchable, but the sheer quality of the movie itself somehow manages to shine through.
If ever there were a film that richly deserves all the benefits of a full restoration, this is it: digital remastering, a new audio track, this serial needs it all!
Somebody needs to come to the Lone Ranger's rescue!