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The Lone Ranger: Reviewing a New Western Movie

Updated on December 29, 2013

A New take on an Old Western

Here is another movie based on an old favorite, The Lone Ranger hit the big screen with enough interest to spark the curiosity of both young and old. Produced by Walt Disney pictures, this film had a chance for fame before it began. History can repeat itself, but will Johnny Depp’s performance which brought box office success to The Pirates of the Caribbean be enough? Some critiques say no. I say yes.

Longing to see a new take on an old western gives The Lone Ranger a chance to shine for the older audience seeking the action packed adventure films they become fond of. A far cry from its name sake of yesterday, the Lone Ranger is one of a kind. If you are looking for old school western dramas you won’t find it dominate in this production, only a taste of the classic style western exist in this one.

Armie Hammer captures the character of the Lone Ranger/John Reid with a style all his own. With the help of his sidekick Johnny Depp bringing the colorful savage Tonto back in play, the two set this action packed adventure on fire. With a bit of comedy added to the mix the entertainment is brought to a satisfying level to please a general audience.


A Talented Cast Build Excitement

This story is told by elderly Tonto to a small boy at a carnival sideshow. All of this must be kept in mind as the outrage of endless far fetched drama unfolds. Comedy adds a flare, but serious drama interacts with our hero fighting off the villains.

The talented cast presents this film well. James Badge Dale who played Dan Ried, John’s brother who gets killed by the band of thieving murderers lead by Butch Cavendish played by William Fichtner. Dan’s wife Rebecca Reid played by Ruth Wilson and her son Danny (Byant Prince) are taken hostage by the same bunch of no goods who left John for dead and killed Dan as well as six other Texas Rangers.

Tonto comes to the rescue. John’s prisoner, Tonto, as the story begins ends up saving his life with the aid of a pure white spirit horse and convinces John to never remove the mask because it’s best all who believes he is dead not be told the truth. The main theme of the story is silver mining on Native American ground. War parties wiping out both the Comanche and white men leave Tonto without family early on because as a naive young boy he shows two men the silver in the streams surrounding their village for the trade of a cheap pocket watch.

Chaos builds as the Lone Ranger and Tonto do everything in their power to rescue Rebecca and Danny Reid and to stop the evil men in charge of the silver mining from causing more corruption. Battles rage as not one, but two moving locomotives push through mountain passes and cross mass valleys. There are acrobatic stunts of unbelievable action like riding a horse on a moving train as it passes by another moving train. Special effects and a certain amount of drama make for one fantastic viewing experience.

The Lone Ranger Trailer

The Lone Ranger of Yesterday

The original Lone Ranger began in 1930, a Fox Film Corporation makes a 64 min. film called The Lone Star Ranger with their Lone Ranger played by George O’Brian. This story is written by Zane Grey (novelist), Seton I Miller (scenario), and John Hunter Booth (dialogue).

In 1948, The Lone Ranger becomes a series starting on radio and ending on ABC’s television network as one of its first great hits until 1957 when the show was canceled. Clayton Moore (Lone Ranger) and Jay Silverheels (Tonto) brought excitement to an audience newly experiencing the trills of television. Imagine what it must have been like for them, up until then only listening to these stories on the radio or an occasional movie presentation. They became very involved in this weekly show and what it stood for. Radio was the start for the classic westerns like Gunsmoke and The Lone Ranger, but it was television that kept us dazzled by the action packed adventures. Movies enlighten that dazzle. It’s like the difference between a HD satellite connection and a roof top antenna. Enhancement to the fullest depends on the movies budget. It also depends on our own imagination and what type of stories will interest us.


Nothing is taken from our old favorites.

Reruns of the television series lead to the idea of producing another movie in its likeness. So, in 1981, The Return of the Lone Ranger came to the big screen. Incorporated Television Company’s production was said to be a flop, but the cast was a well array of talented members such as the lead man Klinton Spilsbury (Lone Ranger/John Reid), Michael Horse (Tonto), Christopher Lloyd (Butch Cavendish-villain) and Jason Robards (President Grant). Could it be western fans were just too hung up on the original storylines and not ready for a complete remake? We love the old classics. We should be pleased the new versions are just what they are meant to be, unique and entertaining without stealing anything drastically away from our childhood heroes.

1950s TV Series


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    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thanks, FlourishAnyway. I'm so glad this film had its own story lines and left the oldies intact. Depp is great. I really need to watch those pirate movies he is in.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Well written hub. We saw this movie in the theatre and couldn't believe it was even the same story. It seemed a lot like Depp's "The Pirates of the Caribbean" only different characters. My daughter loved it, parents hated it.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thank you, Deb Welch for your input. Just as with any other story where outlaws and the law battle their differences, you will find some violence in The Lone Ranger as well. I think a couple of spots they went a little overboard on, but for the most of it, it is suitable for young people to watch. Johnny Depp is great.

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 4 years ago

      I saw the preview and thought it rather violent and opted to see Man of Steel instead. Your review has a different take on the movie and I would reconsider seeing it - since Johnny Depp makes great movies all the time, anyway. I'm a fan of his. I used to watch the B&W - TV series of The Lone Ranger when I was a little kid and enjoyed the many adventures in the stories. Voted UP, Useful & Interesting. Thanks.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thank you, dahoglund. I never heard the radio versions, but I bet they were good stories.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Interesting history of the "Lone Ranger" productions. Personally I liked radio. However, I grew up in that era. Film productions are usually a disappointment.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      I loved it. I seldom go to the cinema unless there is something special I want to see. Thanks for stopping by.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      I have heard that this latest Lone Ranger is hilarious and cool. Gonna watch it soon. Not in the cinema. Too expensive. Will wait for youtube. Voted up