“The Legend of the Lone Ranger ” (1981) Starring Klinton Spilsbury, Michael Horse, Juanin Clay, Jason Robards, Matt Clark, Christopher Lloyd. Directed by William A. Fraker. Written by Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts, Wiliam Roberts, Michael Kane & Jerry Derioshon. If one is prominently asserting the status of a legend it’s probably a good idea to attempt even a minimal stab at the mythic in your presentation. For a negative case in point there is William A. Fraker’s dreary “The Legend of the Lone Ranger”, a film that seems to have been assembled by people who have no familiarity with the western genre yet embrace every tired cliche with the bravura of an elementary school pageant. The villainous and despicable Butch Cavendish Gang (are there ever any gregarious gangs in westerns?) is out to snatch Texas away from the United States to make it a sovereign country by kidnapping President Ulysses S. Grant (a conspiracy which seems misplaced and more suitable for attention by James West and Artemus Gordon) , none of which has a great deal to do with John Reid and the story behind his adoption of the identity of the eponymous frontier masked man. After a severely overextended and awkwardly delineated portion of the film recording the circumstances in which the child Reid becomes fraternal childhood blood brothers with Tonto, the movie introduces the adult Reid in the person of a stiff-limbed toothy mannequin named Klinton Spilsbury, all while despairingly continuing in equal measure the production’s paralyzing quantity of stilted dialogue, awkward performances, sporadically fuzzy cinematography and a puerile feature-length ballad which rhymingly mocks the slightest attempt at gravitas.
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I had enough of the Lone Ranger on TV as a child. By the time this film was released in the UK, I was 29 years old. I do find it hard to believe that you actually bothered to watch it, but I suppose someone had to.
Best wishes, Clayton Moore.