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For their 1940-1941 serial line-up, Republic Pictures Corporation
announced that one of the four serials would be called "The Lone Texas
Ranger." The ink had barely dried on the announcement before the
Detroit copyright owners of "The Lone Ranger" (George W. Trendle- radio
station WXYZ and Lone Ranger, Inc.) objected most profoundly, wrote a
couple of letters to Republic president Morris J. "Moe" Siegel and the
company lawyers threatening court action, and the result was, without
going to court, that "The Lone Texas Ranger" disappeared as an
up-coming Republic Pictures Corporation serial and was replaced by one
called "The Adventures of Red Ryder." The replacement serial turned out
to be one of the most-fondly remembered and easily in the Top Ten of
all Republic Pictures Corporation (which was and still is the correct
name of the company.) The intended script (for "The Lone Texas
Ranager") was modified slightly and used as an entry in Republic
Pictures CORPORATION's 1941-1942 serial schedule...and now titled "King
of the Texas Rangers." And it also turned out to be one of the jewels
in Republic Pictures CORPORATION'S serial crown.
In 1945, Bob Williams wrote an original screenplay for an entry in the companies Red-Ryder series, and the Republic title-namers called it "Lone Texas Ranger." And got no threatening letters from anybody in Detroit over the matter.
I found a copy of Lone Texas Ranger on video at the Knoxville Film Convention in 1997. Sitting just a few feet away was the heroine, Helen Talbot, who was signing autographs for fans. Taking the video up to her, I asked if she had a copy of the film, explaining that it was the only Red Ryder she ever made. When she explained that she didn't, but would like one, I told her to give me her address and I would make one to send her. With that familiar smile and twinkle in her eyes that she always gave Don Barry when he saved her ranch in the movies, she thanked me. Not only did she give me her address but also her telephone number much to the surprise of the dealer who was sitting next to her trying to get her to autograph pictures that he planned to later sell at his table. "How do you rate her phone number. I've been sitting here talking with her and she didn't give to me." "You didn't make her the same deal I did," I explained. Since then, Helen and I have corresponded over the years and I got to know a very special lady who was as sweet in real life as she was on the screen.
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