There is no better opening to a television series than that of the Lone Ranger from the 1950s. And Clayton Moore was the Lone Ranger, enhancing the creation of George W. Trendle and writer Fran Striker'sseminal radio series. I wasn't thrilled by what I have seen of the pre-war "serials". When I looked again at the Clayton Moore Lone Ranger series as an adult I noticed two things I hadn't as a child: very poor production values (due to budgetary reasons) and it was uncomfortably preachy. However I thought what he had to preach was good stuff; and as a kid, I never noticed either aspect. I eagerly awaited 1981's THE LEGEND OF THE LONE RANGER WITH Klinton Spilsbury's body and James Keach's voice. I loved the colors, scenery and costumes [Even as a kid I thought the lone ranger "tights" were a little weird for cowboys]. I wasn't too crazy about the plot and especially didn't like the periodic "chorus"/song, a device which did not enhance 4-Oscar winning High Noon (although away from the movie I liked the song) and certainly didn't help the Legend any.
Now there is "Disney's" The Lone Ranger coming out July 3rd. I've read some very good articles, bought all the LEGOs and have enjoyed the previews. I confess Tonto's headgear is rather strange. I can live with that. However placing the "Legend" into a "buddy-comedy" genre doesn't help the legend much. Again, even as a kid, I thought they could have given Tonto a better role. Jay Silverheels was great as Tonto but rather underused. Now there is a welcomed greater focus on Tonto but I suspect the part he plays has not the enhancing that Clayton Moore and/or Jay Silverheels would appreciate. I think it will be a great summer movie--western scenery, lots of 19th Century trains, and the interaction of the characters. I just think copyright holders and renters downgraded the "legend". I will definitely see the movie and I hope you will too. I also hope that William Tell will be there but I'm not betting on it.
Now, from the script (by several people, oft revised) Elizabeth Rudnick (author of 2010's teen novel Tweet Heart) has crafted a novelization. Upon seeing it, I bought it as a companion for a train trip. Read it in a day--and while I had to put it down periodically, I eagerly picked it back up! It's great. It seemed fresh, interesting, and having seen images of the Ranger and Tonto, I could picture the whole story. Usually one doesn't expect too much from novelizations (I personally thought the STAR WARS first trilogy novelizations were rather wooden). But Ms. Rudnick does quite well: just the right tone, just the right detail. Thanks very much! If you like the movie, get the book. Even if you don't see the movie, get the book as well.