The Lone Ranger (1956)

86 mins | Western | 25 February 1956

Director:

Stuart Heisler

Writer:

Herb Meadow

Producer:

Willis Goldbeck

Cinematographer:

Edwin DuPar

Production Designer:

Stanley Fleischer

Production Company:

Jack Wrather Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Before the opening credits, a narrator explains that out of the hostile Southwest environment, in which American pioneers risked their lives, there emerged a man known as "The Lone Ranger." The famous Lone Ranger theme, taken from The William Tell Overture , by Gioacchino Antonio Rossini, is played behind the opening credits. After Herb Meadow's writing credit is the statement that the film is "based on The Lone Ranger Legend." Although the NYT review states that this film was made in CinemaScope, no other source mentions the process. According to an Aug 1954 DV news item, Jack Wrather paid $3,000,000 for the rights to this property. Included in the deal were 130 television programs, 1,500 radio transcriptions, as well as all merchandising and cartoon contracts. Wrather also received control of all stock in Lone Ranger, Inc., owned by George Trendle, who created the Lone Ranger radio series with Fran Striker. According to a HR production chart, this film was shot on location in Kanab, UT. An Aug 1955 HR news item stated that a flash flood in Barracks Canyon marooned the company for three hours, before they were finally rescued.
       Although Aug 1955 HR news items add Bob Morgan and June Blair to the cast, their appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed, and in late August, Blair was moved to the cast of Our Miss Brooks . The Lone Ranger marked Bonita Granville's last appearance before retiring from the screen to marry Wrather. A Nov 1955 HR news item announced that the advertising and ... More Less

Before the opening credits, a narrator explains that out of the hostile Southwest environment, in which American pioneers risked their lives, there emerged a man known as "The Lone Ranger." The famous Lone Ranger theme, taken from The William Tell Overture , by Gioacchino Antonio Rossini, is played behind the opening credits. After Herb Meadow's writing credit is the statement that the film is "based on The Lone Ranger Legend." Although the NYT review states that this film was made in CinemaScope, no other source mentions the process. According to an Aug 1954 DV news item, Jack Wrather paid $3,000,000 for the rights to this property. Included in the deal were 130 television programs, 1,500 radio transcriptions, as well as all merchandising and cartoon contracts. Wrather also received control of all stock in Lone Ranger, Inc., owned by George Trendle, who created the Lone Ranger radio series with Fran Striker. According to a HR production chart, this film was shot on location in Kanab, UT. An Aug 1955 HR news item stated that a flash flood in Barracks Canyon marooned the company for three hours, before they were finally rescued.
       Although Aug 1955 HR news items add Bob Morgan and June Blair to the cast, their appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed, and in late August, Blair was moved to the cast of Our Miss Brooks . The Lone Ranger marked Bonita Granville's last appearance before retiring from the screen to marry Wrather. A Nov 1955 HR news item announced that the advertising and promotion budget of The Lone Ranger was $1,000,000.
       This was the first of two Lone Ranger features starring Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels that were produced to capitalize on the success of the popular Lone Ranger television series, which had been running intermittently since 1949. In Oct 1955, a HR news item reported that a new color television series would be launched in the spring of 1956. For additional information on other films featuring the character of "The Lone Ranger" and "Tonto," please consult the Series Index and see the entry for the 1940 Republic production, Hi-Yo Silver , in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 Jan 1956.
---
Daily Variety
3 Aug 1954.
---
Daily Variety
4 Jan 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
9 Jan 56
p. 8.
Harrison's Reports
7 Jan 56
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Feb 1955.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Aug 1955
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Aug 55
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 1955
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 1955
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Sep 55
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Oct 1955
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 1955
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Nov 1955
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jan 56
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
7 Jan 56
p. 729.
New York Times
11 Feb 56
p. 12.
The Exhibitor
11 Jan 56
p. 4087.
Variety
11 Jan 56
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Asst cam
Gaffer
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Asst cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst props
COSTUMES
Ladies' ward
Men's ward
MUSIC
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Best boy
Auditor
First aid
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the television series The Lone Ranger , created by Fran Striker and George Trendle (15 Sep 1949--1952
1954--1957) and the radio series of the same name, created by Fran Striker (30 Jan 1933--27 May 1955).
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 February 1956
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 10 February 1956
Production Date:
early August--early September 1955
Copyright Claimant:
Lone Ranger Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
25 February 1956
Copyright Number:
LP7854
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
WarnerColor
Duration(in mins):
86
Length(in feet):
7,759
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17676
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After being secretly assigned by the governor to investigate unrest that has been festering between the Indian and white people of the territory, the masked rider known as The Lone Ranger and his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, head for the cow town of Brasada. On the outskirts of town, they witness a band of Indians attack rancher Pete Ramirez and come to his rescue. After ruefully recounting how the Indians slaughtered his small herd of cattle, Ramirez warns the masked man to steer clear of the town. The next day, the governor comes to Brasada, posing as a guest of wealthy rancher Reece Kilgore, so that he can meet covertly with The Lone Ranger. At a mission church, the governor keeps his appointment with The Lone Ranger, who, disguised as an old prospector, shows him a silver bullet, the mark of The Lone Ranger. After conferring with the governor, The Lone Ranger and Tonto proceed to the Indian reservation, where Chief Red Hawk promises to keep the peace and confides that his braves are furious because of the spurious accusations of the whites. In Brasada, meanwhile, Cassidy, Kilgore's foreman, assembles a crew to drive the herd to Abilene, and Ramirez reluctantly joins them. En route to Abilene, Cassidy rustles the herd owned by Sheriff Kimberly's father and shoots the old man. Upon reaching Abilene, Ramirez notices a shipment of dynamite addressed to Kilgore and soon after, is murdered in his room. When Ramirez fails to return with the others, The Lone Ranger sends Tonto into Brasada to inquire about him. Seeing Tonto, an Indian, wearing a gun, Kilgore attacks him. Although ... +


After being secretly assigned by the governor to investigate unrest that has been festering between the Indian and white people of the territory, the masked rider known as The Lone Ranger and his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, head for the cow town of Brasada. On the outskirts of town, they witness a band of Indians attack rancher Pete Ramirez and come to his rescue. After ruefully recounting how the Indians slaughtered his small herd of cattle, Ramirez warns the masked man to steer clear of the town. The next day, the governor comes to Brasada, posing as a guest of wealthy rancher Reece Kilgore, so that he can meet covertly with The Lone Ranger. At a mission church, the governor keeps his appointment with The Lone Ranger, who, disguised as an old prospector, shows him a silver bullet, the mark of The Lone Ranger. After conferring with the governor, The Lone Ranger and Tonto proceed to the Indian reservation, where Chief Red Hawk promises to keep the peace and confides that his braves are furious because of the spurious accusations of the whites. In Brasada, meanwhile, Cassidy, Kilgore's foreman, assembles a crew to drive the herd to Abilene, and Ramirez reluctantly joins them. En route to Abilene, Cassidy rustles the herd owned by Sheriff Kimberly's father and shoots the old man. Upon reaching Abilene, Ramirez notices a shipment of dynamite addressed to Kilgore and soon after, is murdered in his room. When Ramirez fails to return with the others, The Lone Ranger sends Tonto into Brasada to inquire about him. Seeing Tonto, an Indian, wearing a gun, Kilgore attacks him. Although he fights valiantly, Tonto is captured by Kilgore, but manages to send his riderless horse back to The Lone Ranger, who rides to town and frees Tonto, thus saving him from a lynching. Disguised once again as the old prospector, The Lone Ranger travels to Abilene and from the storekeeper learns about the dynamite shipment and Ramirez' murder. He and Tonto then return to the reservation, where they find the Indians, led by Angry Horse, who has taken control from the ailing Red Hawk, preparing for war. While riding back to their camp, they spot four Indians burning a rancher's field and capture them and take them to Kimberly's office. When the Indians are unmasked as white men working for Kilgore, The Lone Ranger sends the sheriff to the governor's office to arrange for Kilgore's arrest. Kilgore, meanwhile, is inciting the ranchers to war against the Indians. He sends his daughter Lila to safety, but refuses to permit his wife Welcome to accompany her because he hates her for failing to bear him a son. Shortly after Lila departs, an arrow bearing her scarf is shot into Kilgore's door. Learning of the child's abduction, The Lone Ranger goes to the reservation and battles Angry Horse. After winning the fight, The Lone Ranger rescues Lila and takes her to her mother, who tells him of Kilgore's treachery. While the townspeople gather at Pilgrim's Crossing, Kilgore goes to Spirit Mountain to obtain dynamite to use against the Indians. Alone, The Lone Ranger attempts to stop him and his men, but Kilgore wounds him and flees, leaving the dynamite behind on a pack mule. Soon after, Tonto locates his wounded friend and the two discover that the mountain is laden with silver, and that Kilgore has been fomenting unrest to gain control of the mountain. Together, they take the dynamite to a narrow pass leading to the reservation, and keep the warring factions apart by hurling dynamite sticks at them. Kimberly, leading a cavalry troop, finally arrives with a warrant for the arrest of Kilgore and Cassidy. When accused of murdering Ramirez, Kilgore turns on Cassidy, who shoots him. Cassidy attempts to flee, but The Lone Ranger pursues and apprehends him. Several weeks later, The Lone Ranger goes to visit the mission church where Lila and Welcome have sought refuge. As Welcome swears to absolve the name of Kilgore, The Lone Ranger and Tonto depart before she can thank them. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.