The Lone Ranger: Season 1, Episode 1

Enter the Lone Ranger (15 Sep. 1949)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Western | Family
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 84 users  
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John Reid, the sole surviving Texas Ranger of a murderous ambush, becomes the great masked hero with his companion, Tonto.


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Title: Enter the Lone Ranger (15 Sep 1949)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Glenn Strange ...
George J. Lewis ...
Collins (as George Lewis)
Tristram Coffin ...
Jack Clifford ...
Jerry, Henchman


The Lone Ranger is the only survivor of an ambush by the Cavendish gang on a detachment of Texas Rangers. Tonto, a childhood companion stumbles across the injured Ranger and nurses him back to health. The Lone Ranger realizes with everyone thinking he is dead; it frees him to go after any criminals he wants. To hide his identity he makes a mask from the vest of his brother, killed in the same raid Written by glen_chapman <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

15 September 1949 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


It seems there has been an error of omission. It's puzzling that a symphony orchestra's music for all the dramas remains uncredited. See more »


John Reid: Yes, they were brave and they won't be forgotten. I've spent a lot of time thinking. For everyone of those men I'm going to bring a hundred law breakers to justice. I'll make that Cavendish gang, and every criminal that I can find for that matter, regret the day those rangers were killed. Tonto, from this moment on I'm going to devote my life to establishing law and order in this new frontier to make the west a decent place to live.
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User Reviews

I'm a bit confused...
30 June 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Prior to the ambush, I was trying to figure out which of the rangers was Clayton Moore. (How can you not recognize that gravelly low baritone?) But I didn't recognize any of the voices (or faces). I was also wondering why Tonto rides Scout with a saddle. And he wears buckskins, an odd costume for an Apache.

However poor Tonto's English might be, it's better than the speech of the radio Tonto -- who was probably created (like Jimmy Olsen) to give TLR someone to talk with. His pidgin English wouldn't be so annoying if he used subject pronouns rather than object pronouns. By the way, Jay Silverheels (what a wonderful name!) was actually Harold J Smith. (Really!) His stage name came from a nickname received when he played lacrosse.

There are several origin stories, and the most-common -- in which Tonto is a friend from earlier years (in this case, Reid having saved Tonto's life) -- is used here. I've often wondered if this was an attempt (probably unconscious) to obscure the issue of the Tonto's and Reid's private relationship. (Friends are rarely intimate.) However, it's telling that, when the younger Tonto and Reid part, the former gives the latter a ring, which he puts on Reid's ring finger -- the /right/ one, "fortunately". But it's a symbolic marriage, nevertheless.

The script is amateurish, more-appropriate for an imageless radio show. (Later shows are more complex and polished, but still sometimes include unneeded dialog intended to tell the radio listener what's going on.) Cavendish's murder of the Rangers is drawn-out and verges on the sadistic. In later episodes, beatings, knifings, and killings are only rarely directly shown.

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