Looking back on `The Lone Ranger' TV series as an adult is a strange experience. Watching episodes through an adult's eyes alerted me to flaws I didn't notice when I was a kid: the acting was sometimes on the B-movie level. The stories tended to be repetitive and simplistic. The Native Americans were generally played by Caucasian or Hispanic or Italian-American actors. The `outdoor' exteriors in a lot of episodes were obviously indoor sets. But there is a spirit and an energy to the show that you can't deny.
Most of the credit for the show's success goes to its leads, Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels. They became the Lone Ranger and Tonto, lived the roles as no other actors before or since. Moore, in particular, knew the Ranger was presented as a hero and an example to children, and from what I've heard, he tried his best to live up to that. He made the Ranger a fair and just man, someone who didn't judge, who gave people the benefit of the doubt, but acted correctly when the time was right. He used violence only as a last resort. He was a symbol of honor and integrity, the kind of person I wish I could be.
As for Tonto... It occurs to me nowadays how great an actor Jay Silverheels was. Critics of the show always want to use Tonto as the stereotypical ignorant savage, but you have to look at all the things Tonto does. Tonto tracks, takes care of the Ranger when he's wounded, spies out information - you can tell from the expressions on Silverheels' face that there's a lot more going on inside Tonto's head than he lets on. Don't let the broken English fool you!
The thing that really impresses me about `The Lone Ranger' now is how much of a partnership these two characters have. Tonto is not the Ranger's subordinate - they are friends, equals in their adventures. That, as much as any lesson taught in any episode, is what draws me back to the series after so many years: a tried and true friendship.
Well....I dunno. I remember sitting and watching these shows. And I caught a few episodes on late night TV a few year s ago. Yes, justice and friendships were front and center. But I must say that the actors' lines were sometimes ATROCIOUS. There was one show where Tonto has to "sneak back into town" to see what's really going on with suspicious people. Jay Silverheels(Tonto) is crouched outside the door of this place listening to whatever is going on inside. And in back of him, walking away, down a sidestreet is ..? what? an extra. And of course, nobody thinks it's a bit strange for a buckskin clad Indian to be crouched outside this door. Happens everyday, Right? I now understand why Mr. Silverheels objected to the role. Stereotypical portrayals of our native Americans. OUCH!!!!
The Lone Ranger was and is one of the best westerns to ever appear on television. Even beyond that, it is one of the better shows on television period. The main premise was a former Texas Ranger, left for dead, dawns a mask to seek justice for those who seek it. The regular cast was outstanding. The guest starts were absolutely fantastic. In this time period of television many famous actors would make appearances on great television shows such as this. Then there were the up and coming actors that would go on to become huge stars and used this as a springboard of sorts. All in all a great show that can still be watched today without missing a beat. There are a lot of good messages in this show that teach good morales and values for children.
This was truly an amazing western with great story lines and I thought it handled the Indian-Cowboy relationship in a fairly dignified way...I would definitely think this show was INFLUENTIAL>>Both the main actors were truly amazing and I still love watching them even sometimes in reruns....Maybe some one should do a Lone Ranger remake
This program was the TV model for all Cops and Robber, and lawman shows to come.
Clayton Moore was there everyday to entertain our budding need for justice and the good guys do win.
Have forgotten now, why The Lone Ranger, wore a mask and lead two lives. But, he and Tonto, played by one of the first most notable nationally recognized tv stars, Native American Jay Silverheels, taught us Law and Order. We loved to watch them track down the bad guys with their trusty horses, "Silver" and "Scout,"
There are similarities Batman and Robbin, and the Lone Ranger and Tonto.
Don't pass it up just because it's black and white tv. Great American west and cowby genre.
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