Lone Ranger Collection
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17 classic, uncut episodes from the original, action-packed TV series! This thrilling 2-DVD set chronicles the legend of the Lone Ranger and how Dan Reid (Clayton Moore) became the masked rider of the plains. Discover how he was rescued from certain death, how he found "Silver" his fabulous wild stallion, the meaning behind his black mask, why he used silver bullets, and answers to many more secrets! "Hi Yo Silver, Away!" Stars Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger, and Jay Silverheels as his faithful companion Tonto.
DISC ONE - total run time 3 hr, 13 min.
Enter the Lone Ranger 9/15/1949
The Lone Ranger Fights On 9/22/1949
The Lone Ranger's Triumph 9/29/1949
Region of Old Timers 10/6/1949
Rustlers' Hideout 10/13/1949
War Horse 10/20/1949
Pete and Pedro 10/27/1949
The Renegades 11/3/1949
The Tenderfeet 11/10/1949
DISC TWO - total run time 2 hr, 50 min.
High Heels 11/17/1949
Six Gun's Legacy 11/24/1949
Return of the Convict 12/1/1949
Finders Keeper 12/8/1949
The Masked Rider 12/15/1949
Old Joe's Sister 12/22/1949
Canonball McKay 12/29/1949
Message From Abe 2/7/1957
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All but one of the episodes in this product are from 1949, and they are in amazingly good shape for TV from that era. I docked a star because the opening and closing were cut from most of the episodes. They frame the episodes on each DVD, rather than each episode itself. That was disappointing, since frankly the opening and closing to each episode were salient features of the series.
In appreciating this series, you have to get yourself in the frame of mind of audiences in the middle of the last century. "The Lone Ranger" had thrived through the 30s and 40s as radio and movie serials before coming to TV, and the TV show retained much of the spirit of the radio broadcasts, with stylized dialogue and imposing voice-overs. Tonto speaks in stereo-typical "Indian speak", with contrived poor grammar and often stilted delivery. The Lone Ranger often speaks with exaggerated enunciation in a "heroic" manner. LOL
However, most of the acting is surprisingly natural and good, particularly since most of the supporting cast were veterans of years of the myriad westerns shot in the 30s and 40s.
For its time, "The Lone Ranger" had a remarkably advanced attitude towards "Indian" relations. At a time when many westerns were still portraying "Indians" as savage murderers preying on simple defenseless settlers, in "The Lone Ranger" they are depicted with dignity, and often as victims of unscrupulous "white men".
The price on this set is trivial to get a taste of the early days of this series. It includes the three part "origin" story, and during its course you'll even get the treat of seeing DeForest Kelly in one of his many western roles before his "name role" as Doctor McCoy on Star Trek.
I'll never forget watching The Lone Ranger myself, then heading into the back yard as a 4 year old to ride the teeter totter like crazy while exclaiming, "Hi Yo Silver ... AWAY!!"
This new DVD set from Pop Flix contains the first 16 episodes (15 Sept-29 Dec 1949) and for some unknown reason episode 22 from the fifth season, for a total of 17 episodes (the same 17 available on last year's Mill Creek Entertainment release so these are probably in the public domain). These sets pretty much render "The Legend of the Lone Ranger" movie superfluous as all three episodes that were combined in 1952 to form the movie are included in these releases.
These early episodes hark back to radio as there is considerably more voiceover narration used as an introduction and to introduce key plot moments.
The series itself was pure kiddie western with clear-cut good and evil distinctions and no romance. The title character (played by Clayton Moore) started out Texas Ranger John Reid. The first three episodes provide the background for his transformation to Lone Ranger status, his partnering with the Indian Tonto (Jay Silverheels), and the taming of his horse "Silver".
There is an unambiguous code of positive morality infusing each episode. The Lone Ranger is totally good but he adopts the guise of evil. While a masked man in the west was normally feared by the good citizens and an Indian was distrusted, the Lone Ranger is feared by those who would do evil. One persistent theme is that when the Lone Ranger and Tonto first encounter an average citizen they are greeted with suspicion, and by the end of the episode the citizen has been convinced of their value. The trademark ending was a secondary character asking the question: "who was that masked man?".
To really enjoy the series you must accept it for the simplistic morality tale it was intended to be. If you don't take it seriously and keep wishing for some self-reflexive campy parody elements you will only get frustrated.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.