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Klinton Spilsbury, Michael Horse. The story of the man behind the Lone Ranger, from his first meeting with Tonto to the event that inspired him to become the notorious Masked Man. 1981/color/98 min/PG/fullscreen.
I remember watching The Lone Ranger with my Father and when the movie came out, I was excited to relive that feeling. I thought the movie was a good retelling of the origion story and that it gave John Reid/Lone Ranger more of a human feel and that I could relate with him. I know that others didn't like the film, but I can still watch the film and feel like a kid again with it. I almost feel like yelling "High-Yo Silver, Away" everytime I hear the William Tell Overture. It's one of my personal favorites.
First of all, indeed -- amazon.com has the reviews section wrong. Most of the other reviews are referring to the old television show, NOT the 1981 movie starring Klinton Spilsbury.
Now that we have that out of the way, there's little else to defend about this movie. Klinton Spilsbury (who looks like a more chiseled version of Rick Springfield), just isn't very good in the part. Admittedly, his voice was dubbed by actor James Keach, and I think this makes his performance even more wooden. It's way too monotone. I would love to hear Klinton's real voice some day.
The movie does have some saving graces. John Barry's score is absolutely terrific (the Waylon Jennings "songs" are quite the opposite though -- any time his one man "Greek chorus" comes from the speakers, it's flat out embarrassing). Jason Robards is quite good (although with limited screen time) as Ulysses S. Grant). Christopher Lloyd is actually pretty good as the bad guy (although I don't know how people SO familiar with his "Taxi" character could not laugh when they saw him in this.
What makes this a one-star review is the HORRIBLE DVD transfer of this film. It literally looks like they took a VHS copy and made the DVD out of it. It's 2 channel Dolby Digital (and sounds as flat as could be) and the picture is 4 x 3 and not formatted for 16 x 9 screens. It's embarrassing. This is 2008 -- I KNOW they could have done better than this.
As another reviewer said, "don't waste your money on this."
Who was that masked man? Why, it was Klinton Spilsbury! "Who the hell is Klinton Spilsbury?" you're probably asking. Well, it's a good question, coz no one really knows it seems. To me, there's something fascinating about the concept of an actor making his film debut as the leading man in a major film, winning a Razzie award for the lousy performance, then never starring in a movie again. To this day, no one really knows where Spilsbury is, what he's doing, or if he's even alive. Rumor has it he was difficult to work with, and Wikipedia states that there is a rumor he was working at Subway for awhile! Well, he had his 15 minutes(actually more like 98) as the iconic Lone Ranger in the 1981 bomb, The Legend Of The Lone Ranger-a movie considered so bad that it was swept under the rug and pretty much forgotten about. Even people I know who are into westerns are surprised to learn that a Lone Ranger film was made. Is it really as bad as it's reputation? No, of course not. It's got it's moments, but I thought it was more boring than anything. The film shows how John Reid becomes the Lone Ranger, following him from his childhood where he meets his lifelong friend, Tonto, up to the moments he slips on the black mask(which is almost an hour into the film). Reid comes back to his hometown, now as a lawyer, and finds himself tagging along with some Texas rangers as they go out after the evil Butch Cavendish and his gang. Reid is the sole survivor of the massacre of the rangers by the Cavendish gang. The gang manage to kidnap President Grant(Jason Robards), giving Reid the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone by saving the president and getting his own revenge.Read more ›
I am so very "fond" of this movie ! I was seven when I first saw The Legend of the Lone Ranger. Me and my brother watched it over and over and over again, we never got tired of it. Thus the entire aspect of the movie, especially the soundtrack and narration stir up pleasant memories of my childhood, sounds strange I know but because we'd get it out every so often from the video club, until I was about ten, I grew to know it so well. I won't bother to explain what the movie is about because the other reviewers have done that already but I'd like to add that this is more of a children's movie than an adults movie, adults can certainly enjoy it too but that depends on weather or not adults want to put away their cynical side for the duration of the movie. I saw the Lone Ranger as an adult a decade later on TV, when I was in University far away from home and I really had to smile, it was comforting in a way to see and hear the story especially the beautiful scene where the Lone Ranger tames Silver. This movie got trashed by critics but SO WHAT. I have watched some so called Oscar worthy stuff and thought to myself :"What utter nonsensical garbage " This is a movie that I know I can let my children watch one day. I was at such an impressionable age at the time that I watched this movie it single-handedly instilled alot of respect in me for the Native American people. That's a very worthy achievement.
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