Saturday, July 13, 2013


They weren't the first Lone Ranger & Tonto in movies...
...but the odds are they are still the best-known, ironically, due to television!
They're Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels.
And to several generations of fans, they personified the Masked Man and His Indian Companion!
From 1949 to 1957*, they rode across the tv screens of America dispensing justice in the Old West.
When, in 1955 it was decided to begin shooting the b/w series in color (anticipating then-new color tvs would eventually dominate the market) , the producers decided to absorb the cost of acquiring color film cameras, reshooting stock footage, and redoing costumes by doing a theatrical feature, then shooting the remaining tv episodes.
We presented the comic adaptation of the movie in a historic multi-blog post HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Take a look at the trailer for the feature film...

When the final episode of the tv series was "in the can" in 1958, the producers decided to do one more theatrical film which gave Jay Silverheels' Tonto his biggest role in the series, finally doing battle alone, as well as a "message' about racial bigotry quite daring for its' time...
Unfortunately, there's no clip available of Tonto's historic fight on YouTube.
The opening of the film had a one-time theme that retells the origin of the team...

The pairing of Moore and Silverheels was so iconic that, even a decade after the show was canceled, they were appearing in commercials...

But that was not the last time a live-action Lone Ranger would grace the silver screen before the recent film.
For that story, visit Western Comics Adventures ™ tomorrow...
And for more Dynamic Duos in Classic Film click HERE!
*From 1952 to 1954, Clayton Moore was replaced by John Hart.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed your very thorough post -- very interesting stuff!