The Lone Ranger (1949–1957)

TV Series   |  TV-G   |    |  Western


Episode Guide
The Lone Ranger (1949) Poster

The adventures of the masked hero and his Native American partner.

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  • The Lone Ranger (1949)
  • The Lone Ranger (1949)
  • Robert Rockwell and Dorothy Vaughan in The Lone Ranger (1949)
  • Richard Travis in The Lone Ranger (1949)
  • Clayton Moore in The Lone Ranger (1949)
  • John Russell and Clayton Moore in The Lone Ranger (1949)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


23 May 2005 | Diosprometheus
One of the Grandfathers of Network Westerns.
The Lone Ranger appeared on the ABC network on September 15, 1949 in the first of a three part episode that told the history of the famous masked man of the West.

Along with William Boyd's Hopalong Cassidy TV series, which was first telecast on NBC on June 24, 1949, it was among the earliest TV western series. Hopalong Cassidy actually debuted in 1948, when Boyd syndicated his films to NBC. (In 1947, Boyd had bought to the rights to his Hoppy films.)

Fran Stiker and George W. Trendle created the Lone Ranger as a local radio program in 1933. It quickly went nationwide and was the cornerstone of the old Mutual Radio network. Ironically, Hopalong Cassidy was also a Mutual radio program.

When The Lone Ranger was brought to TV in 1949, many of the radio plays were adapted to the younger medium. As a consequence, many of the earliest episodes show their radio origins with the use of a narrator who links the different scenes together. The Lone Ranger was the biggest hit on the new ABC network in its early years.

The first three episodes told the the familiar story of how the Lone Ranger came to be, his connection to Tonto, and the origins of his prize horse Silver. Glenn Strange played the villain Butch Cavandish in these episodes.

The Lone Ranger was also one of the earliest shows to film mostly outdoors. Starting in 1956, the Wrather Company began filming the program in color.

The Cisco Kid, starring Duncan Renaldo and Leo Carrillo had been filmed in color since its first aired in 1950. Jack Wrather, however, was more concerned about the competition to his kid's show from the new adult westerns that had began to appear on TV.

When the Lone Ranger appeared, The New York Times critic Jack Gould ripped the show, as "just another Western, and not a notably good one at that." Gould considered the first three episodes manipulative, mostly because of the cliffhanger endings of the first two episodes. The New York Times writer accused everyone associated with the program of keeping children "emotionally hopped upped." As a result of his criticisms, the cliffhanger type endings were never used after the first two episodes. Gould, however, had been suffering from a misunderstanding. The show had never intended to be broadcast as a serial despite the serial background of its star Clayton Moore.

In 1952, B-film actor John Hart replaced Clayton Moore. Moore had threatened to quit after 1950. He was being paid only $500 an episode for his hit show, and wanted a substantial raise. Audiences rejected Hart in the role, and after 36 episodes Moore was back atop Silver.

The Lone Ranger was the first Western Hit on TV.

The series was filmed in both Utah and in California.

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?

Trivia

On August 11, 2009 the U.S. Postal Service issued a pane of twenty forty-four cent commemorative postage stamps honoring early U.S. television programs. A booklet with twenty picture postcards was also issued. On the stamp honoring The Lone Ranger is a picture of Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger with his horse, Silver . Other shows honored in the Early TV Memories issue were: The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952), Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955), The Dinah Shore Show (1951), Dragnet (1951), The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) (originally titled The Ed Sullivan Show (1948)), The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950), Hopalong Cassidy (1952), The Honeymooners (1955), The Howdy Doody Show (1947) (original title: The Howdy Doody Show (1947)), I Love Lucy (1951), Kukla, Fran and Ollie (1947), Lassie (1954), Perry Mason (1957), The Phil Silvers Show (1955), The Red Skelton Hour (1951), Texaco Star Theatre (1948) (titled The Milton Berle Show (1948), 1954-1956), The Tonight Show (which began as Tonight! (1953)), The Twilight Zone (1959), and You Bet Your Life (1950).


Quotes

The Lone Ranger: Only you, Tonto, know I'm alive. To the world, I'll buried here beside my brother and my friends... forever.
Tonto: You are alone now. Last man. You are lone ranger.
The Lone Ranger: Yes, Tonto, I am... the Lone Ranger.


Alternate Versions

The first three episodes are available edited together as a ersatz feature "Enter the Lone Ranger" (1949) running 68 minutes minus titles and recaps. (It was a three parter)


Soundtracks

William Tell Overture: Finale
by
Gioachino Rossini

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Western

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