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The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981)

The sole surviving Texas Ranger (Klinton Spilsbury) of an ambush arranged by outlaw leader Major Bartholomew "Butch" Cavendish (Christopher Lloyd) returns to fight back as a great masked western hero, The Lone Ranger.

Director:

William A. Fraker

Writers:

Ivan Goff (screenplay), Ben Roberts (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Klinton Spilsbury ... The Lone Ranger / John Reid
Michael Horse ... Tonto
Christopher Lloyd ... Maj. Bartholomew 'Butch' Cavendish
Matt Clark ... Sheriff Wiatt
Juanin Clay ... Amy Striker
Jason Robards ... President Ulysses S. Grant
John Bennett Perry ... Ranger Captain Dan Reid
David Hayward ... Ranger Collins
John Hart ... Lucas Striker
Richard Farnsworth ... Wild Bill Hickok
Lincoln Tate Lincoln Tate ... General George A. Custer
Ted Flicker Ted Flicker ... Buffalo Bill Cody
Marc Gilpin ... Young John Reid
Patrick Montoya Patrick Montoya ... Young Tonto
David Bennett David Bennett ... General Aurelio Rodriguez
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Storyline

When the young Texas Ranger, John Reid (Klinton Spilsbury), is the sole survivor of an ambush arranged by the outlaw leader, Bartholomew "Butch" Cavendish (Christopher Lloyd), he is rescued by an old childhood Comanche friend, Tonto (Michael Horse). When he recovers from his wounds, he dedicates his life to fighting the crime that Cavendish represents. To this end, John Reid disguises himself and becomes the great masked western hero, The Lone Ranger. With the help of Tonto, the pair go to rescue President Ulysses S. Grant (Jason Robards, Jr.) when Cavendish takes him hostage. We learn that Cavendish was an officer in the United States military before he was court-martialled and dishonorably discharged. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Now the truth about him is told. Of his family destroyed by violence. Of the Indian who became his brother. Of the woman that fate denied him. Now the mask is lifted, and the man is revealed. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the film was a massive flop, savvy producer Lew Grade managed to sell the TV rights for $7.5 million. See more »

Goofs

During the final fight, when the Lone Ranger knocks Cavendish off his horse, the stuntman playing Christopher Lloyd loses his wig. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
First Scalphunter: You got him! You got him!
Young John Reid: Shh, sit down. Get down!
Young Tonto: Leave me alone!
First Scalphunter: You ain't never gonna find that little redskin.
Second Scalphunter: When I do, I'm gonna scalp him.
Young John Reid: [whispering] Go. It's alright. Come on.
Second Scalphunter: The little injun's somewhere.
Young John Reid: [whispering] Get down.
First Scalphunter: They're at the Reid place. Come on, we're missin' it.
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK versions are cut by 5 secs to remove horse-falls. See more »

Connections

Follows The Lone Ranger (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

The Man in the Mask
Written by John Barry and Dean Pitchford
Sung by Merle Haggard
See more »

User Reviews

I liked this movie!
25 December 2001 | by guil12See all my reviews

After reading so many bad comments on this film, I guess I'm one of the few that disagree with the critics. I really liked this movie. I thought it was well directed by William Fraker, with terrific photography and a well written story. So, for once, there isn't a lot of blood and guts all over the place. Who cares? It was also interesting to me to see how the Lone Ranger got his name and the whole silver bullet legend, which I never knew. So, thanks for filling me in on that subject.

Some wonderful performances by all of the leads. How wonderful to see Jason Robards as President Grant. He added so much to the role with his usuall unbeatable acting abilities. This is a terrific actor in all that he does. And Christopher Lloyd as "Butch" Cavendish, the villain, plays the part with simplicity and not the usuall western bad guy. It was nice to see Lloyd play a different kind of role other than the character from "Taxi" he's known for. I liked Matt Clark as the Sheriff. You see Clark in many films and most of the time his work goes un-noticed. This actor, too, does fine character work. Then we have the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Yes, there are many legends that lean on the gay relationship, but this viewer liked these two actors. I didn't know that Klinton Spilsbury's voice was dubbed as the Ranger. But I thought he had lots of charm and certainly good looks, with or without the mask. His scenes with the horse, Silver, were wonderfully humorous and appealing. His scene in the church with Amy was also well played and well photographed. I liked this actor and don't understand why he never appeared again in a film. It must have been his own choice.

As Tonto, Michael Horse was perfection. Simply played with dignity for his race, he brought some nice quality to the film. You felt that unsaid respect and devotion the two heroes had for one another. If you want to go the gay route, do so. I guess in this day and age, one must take that aspect and build on it. What, then, does that say of the Three Muskateers?


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 May 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Legend of the Lone Ranger See more »

Filming Locations:

Monument Valley, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,945,600, 25 May 1981

Gross USA:

$12,617,845

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,617,845
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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