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The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981)

Klinton Spilsbury , Michael Horse , William A. Fraker  |  PG |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Klinton Spilsbury, Michael Horse, Christopher Lloyd
  • Directors: William A. Fraker
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Full Screen, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: August 26, 2008
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001ARDC16
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,024 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Legend of the Lone Ranger" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars HORRIBLE DVD Transfer of a Mediocre Movie from 1981 August 27, 2008
By atrac
First of all, indeed -- 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."
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of my Guilty Pleasures November 11, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Klinton Spilbury Is My Homie! March 14, 2009
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.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time to bring the Ranger home on DVD July 15, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
This Movie is available on DVD Region 2 in Europe. How unAmerican! It's time to bring him home.

I saw this movie several times when on first run, back when the nearst 1st run house was 45 miles away. People cheered when he first wore the mask and "that" song came through the speakers, laughed at President Grant's threat to Col Custer to send him to Montana, marveled at Christopher Lloyd's villain Cavindish and Michael Horse's dignified Tonto.

After seeing the movie I saw the televised review by two "Windy City" reviewers and was amazed at the inaccuracy of their description of several scenes. It made me wonder if they'd bothered to watch the film.

Some have even described it as "Hoaky", if dignity, devotion, and duty are hoaky we need more hoaky. This film is one you can enjoy with your parents or your grandchildren and it's time for it to be available on DVD inn the USA.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars He couldn't take Clayton Moore's place, but who could? September 3, 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
There are few movies that come to mind that receive such a bashing as this one. The musical score/narration is almost painfully campy and some of the dialog is as wooden as the delivery by the actors. However, there is still a great deal to enjoy in this film. Some film characters are icons that simply must be experienced by a child and the Lone Ranger is one of them. Klinton Spilsbury is no Clayton Moore, but who could be? Clayton Moore IS the Lone Ranger as much as Basil Rathbone IS Sherlock Holmes. When one thinks of the Lone Ranger, who comes to mind except Moore and Jay Silverheels as Tonto? Who can live up to an icon like that? Anyway, Spilsbury and Michael Horse do the best they can, but unfortunately this film was received so badly, it probably killed any chance of a new Ranger film ever being made again. With the classic Clayton Moore adventures all but impossible to come by (AND THAT NEEDS TO BE REMEDIED!) in watchable condition, this is an enjoyable and (for now) available addition to the Ranger's screen adventures.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Nope it's not that good of a movie, Clayton Moore would turn over in his grave.
Published 2 days ago by David W. Mueller
3.0 out of 5 stars although I liked the scene when Spilsbury rode into town to the ...
The star of the movie was Silver, although I liked the scene when Spilsbury rode into town to the music of the William Tell Overture to save Tonto from being hanging or shall we... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Jerry S. Byrd
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 11 days ago by Sue Caldwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My daughter loved it.
Published 12 days ago by Lucy
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Love this movie, but the picture quality is terrible. I should've listened to the reviews.
Published 1 month ago by Mmo75
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Aswesome movie
Published 1 month ago by Jack
4.0 out of 5 stars Kept close to the original story, unlike the Johnny ...
Kept close to the original story , unlike the Johnny Depp fiasco. Almost forgotten movie , should be viewed .
Published 1 month ago by BRODY
5.0 out of 5 stars great version of the lone ranger
This is a great movie! I have watched it since I was a kid but beware there is some language and conversations that is not appropriate for children.
Published 1 month ago by john brooks
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lone Ranger !!!!!!
One for the collection!!
Published 1 month ago by W. J. Ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love this original version
Published 2 months ago by John Colliflower
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