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The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Western  |  22 May 1981 (USA)
4.9
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 1,329 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 21 critic

The sole surviving Texas Ranger of an ambush arranged by Butch Cavandish returns to fight back as a masked hero.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 5 more credits »
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Title: The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Klinton Spilsbury ...
...
...
...
Sheriff Wiatt
...
Amy Striker
...
...
...
Ranger Collins
John Hart ...
Lucas Striker
...
Lincoln Tate ...
Ted Flicker ...
Buffalo Bill Cody
Marc Gilpin ...
Patrick Montoya ...
David Bennett ...
Gen. Aurelio Rodriguez
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Storyline

When the young Texas Ranger, John Reid, is the sole survivor of an ambush arranged by the militaristic outlaw leader, Butch Cavendich, he is rescued by an old childhood Comanche friend, Tonto. When he recovers from his wounds, he dedicates his life to fighting the evil that Cavendich represents. To this end, John Reid becomes the great masked western hero, The Lone Ranger. With the help of Tonto, the pair go to rescue the President Grant when Cavendich takes him hostage. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The untold story of the man behind the mask, and the legend behind the man. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

22 May 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La leyenda del Llanero Solitario  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$8,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the time, director William A. Fraker hadn't directed a movie for eight years. After this movie failed at the box office, Fraker moved to television, but continued to work as a DOP on feature films. See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie, John Reid gives Amy Striker a copy of the book "A Century of Dishonor" by Helen Hunt Jackson, written in 1881. See more »

Quotes

Tonto: Repay me by honoring your treaties with my people.
President Ulysses S. Grant: Yes, we will TRY, you have my word.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Can't Stop the Music (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Finale from The William Tell Overture
from the opera "William Tell" (uncredited)
Written by Gioachino Rossini
(Closing titles)
See more »

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User Reviews

Where have all the heroes gone?
5 May 1999 | by (Crete, Illinois) – See all my reviews

The well-deserved negative comments about this beautifully-filmed fiasco have all but obscured one important good deed: the attempt to update the Lone Ranger on the wide screen, in all his majestic conservatism. Where the studio, in my mind, failed, was in treating the Ranger as "someone we know." For anyone who grew up in the late '40's or early '50's, and remembers Brace Beemer's voice [one God would have envied], or even his predecessor's [Earle Graser], or remembers how naturally Clayton Moore assumed the role for television, the expensive exposure of Klinton Spilsbury was cruelly unnecessary. Why trifle with the Masked Man's origins? He was perfect as we knew him! The Ranger, for all you out there in cyberspace, was NEVER named John; that his last name was Reid was well-known, but to give him a first name [and an unremarkable one at that], was to snatch away some of the mystery and aura surrounding the character. The Wrather Corporation, which bought the rights to the Lone Ranger from George W. Trendle, made this foolish mistake, and they robbed the Masked Man of any heroic pretense by making him, in essence, one of us. If someone bought the rights to the Superman character, changed his planet from Krypton to some other location, and did away with his earthly name of Clark Kent, can you imagine the reaction? The Wrather Corporation robbed themselves of a valuable property by re-tooling the Lone Ranger, and the result was this cinematic fiasco. It could have worked well, even without a "name" actor. The film was shot through with admirable creative strokes. Two come to mind. First, the racist attack on the young Tonto, second, the planned gang-rape of Amy Striker on the hijacked stagecoach, neither of which could have been broadcast nor televised in the '40's or '50's. Even the scene in the confessional could have proved a brilliant stroke [indeed, we saw it imitated in the 1998 "The Mask of Zorro" to wonderful effect]. The point is that it all could have worked! The sadistic ambush of the Texas Rangers at Bryant's Gap was realistic and moving, but could have been dealt with far more effectively by means of flashbacks. The film failed because the studio didn't care enough to probe the reasons for the Ranger's motivation [the superficial one of revenge for the massacre at Bryant's Gap wasn't enough] and Tonto's reasons for his remarkable and deeply humane devotion to his friend. A re-orchestration of the Republic and classical overtures would have heightened the film [as expensive as this might have been] from an ordinary Western into something else; a retelling of a classic myth and cultural icon. We Ranger fanatics are much the poorer because a rich corporation bought the rights to a character without understanding caring] about the emotional underpinnings of the legend. American audiences were ready for a "modern" Lone Ranger in 1981; I'm not certain that anyone cares anymore, and that's the tragedy.


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Any chance we see a Blu-Ray release of this movie any time soon? redjacket1972
Tonto is not as inferior in this version Mdewakanton
Verbinski and Bruckheimer are commencing with an update gobucks0302111
Christopher Reeve as the Lone Ranger? jlowry71
whatever happened to klinton spilsbury? JoshsDad
HORRIBLE US DVD Release - AVOID atrac
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