The Lone Ranger and the bad guy are duking it out in the lake. They both clamber out, sopping wet. The bad guy swings and misses. The Lone Ranger socks him on the jaw and he drops. The instant he hits the ground, both his and the Lone Ranger's clothes are totally dry. See more »
Instead of crediting Fran Striker and George W. Trendle as the creators/originators of The Lone Ranger characters, the credit below the screenplay credit simply reads "Based upon the Lone Ranger legend". See more »
The Lone Ranger and Tonto have a long, complex history on the screen, but Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels became forever identified with the roles thanks to the hugely popular "Lone Ranger" TV series, which ran from 1949 to 1957. That series inspired two full-length feature films, of which this is the second.
A stretched-out version of a typical "Lone Ranger" episode would have been unbearably cornball, but this movie avoids that trap. Shot in color at some beautiful desert locations, it has a reasonably intelligent plot, plus action that's a bit more adult (i.e. violent) than in the TV series. It even has a theme: prejudice against American Indians.
The story is about a series of killings of Indians by a gang known as the "Hooded Raiders." As in the TV series, the identities of the villains are clear to the audience fairly early, but in this movie their ultimate motive is not obvious at first. That allows the two heroes to do a bit of sleuthing, and the Lone Ranger gets a chance to doff his mask and don one of his trademark "disguises." (Even as a kid, I could see through these disguises easily, but the bad guys were always fooled.)
Considering that this film was intended mostly for youngsters, its treatment of racial prejudice is pretty powerful for the 1950s. Two of the characters are especially interesting -- a bigoted lawman who abuses the people he's supposed to protect, and a doctor who conceals his partial Indian heritage in an attempt to "pass" as white. The Hooded Raiders are probably meant to suggest the Ku Klux Klan, though they don't really wear their hoods that much. (Their lax attitude toward their disguises strains credibility at times, but it's a forgivable flaw.)
This is a better Western than I expected, and it's a fitting farewell for the Moore-Silverheels team. Though they later appeared in character for personal appearances and at least one commercial, this was the last time they played the Lone Ranger and Tonto in a real screen production.
To cap it all off, "The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold" has two of the great Hollywood beauties of the 1950s: Noreen Nash, as a wealthy schemer, and Lisa Montell, as an Indian maiden. For a lot of dads who were dragged to the theater in the 1950s, the sight of these two ladies must have been a pleasant surprise.
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