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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 (139 customer reviews)

List Price: $14.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Klinton Spilsbury, Michael Horse, Christopher Lloyd
  • Directors: William A. Fraker
  • Format: 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 (139 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001ARDC16
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,866 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Legend of the Lone Ranger" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

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
Format:DVD
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."
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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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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Klinton Spilbury Is My Homie! March 14, 2009
Format:DVD
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
5.0 out of 5 stars The Legend of the Lone Ranger ON blu-ray
I saw this movie when it came out in 1981 and have been hoping to see it come to Blu-ray , I ordered the Blu-ray from Spain and was un sure if it would play in the U.S.A. Read more
Published 5 days ago by rocco barletta
3.0 out of 5 stars The Lone Ranger rides again
I saw this movie when it first came to TV. I tried really hard to watch the most recent "Lone Ranger movie. Couldn't stand it. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Kay Frazee
4.0 out of 5 stars good choice
Purchased this movie for a friend's child. His parents had taken him to see the jonny depp version and had been very dissapointed with how it butchered the story they had grown up... Read more
Published 29 days ago by blade hobbit
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my childhood favorites
Ok. So it's not a good movie. But it's not as abysmal as everyone says it is. In fact, I still enjoy this more than the recent Lone Ranger movie. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Loren V. Burrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than you might think.
I saw this film in the theater - at the time (and this was pre Web) there was a dog pile on this film for two reasons: Klinton Spilsbury's voice was dubbed over (John Carradine, as... Read more
Published 1 month ago by The Gent
3.0 out of 5 stars i liked the movie in the theatre never saw dvd but got vhs version.
I saw this twice when the movie came out, got the album, cut the beautiful poster out of the NY times. I did not see the DVD so I cannot rate it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Only for the collector
First major big screen movie in years since Clayton Moores, and it nearly ended the franchise. This is just for the collector, or if you want to just compare this movie to Johnny... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jeffrey E. Combs
5.0 out of 5 stars a GREAT MOVIE
i HAVE SEEN THIS ALONG TIME AGO AND LOVED IT THANK YOU FOR THE COPY.i WILL BE WATCHING THIS ALOT
Published 2 months ago by charles f. ray
1.0 out of 5 stars I wanted so much to like this film but....
A terrible movie from start to finish...Spilsbury was right to give up acting...his acting was wooden to say the least...And Keach's dubbing his voice was just as bad.... Read more
Published 2 months ago by kenn koncicki
4.0 out of 5 stars Brings back memories.
I remember seeing this when I was a kid, and loved it. By far much better than the recent butchering Disney did with Johnny Dep
Published 3 months ago by Anthony
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