Lone Ranger: 75th Anniversary Collector’s Edition, The (DVD Review)2 Nov, 2008 By: John Latchem
$119.93 13-DVD set
The classic “Lone Ranger” radio and TV shows invited viewers to take a trip “to the thrilling days of yesteryear.” Looking at the episodes in this new boxed set, viewers are as likely to glean insights from the early 1950s as they are the Old West.
Who couldn’t love Clayton Moore’s droning monotone voice as the iconic hero, or Jay Silverheels as his faithful sidekick, Tonto, an Anglicanized Native American who served as a symbol of racial unity in trying times. Or the way the pair managed to survive countless fist fights and gun battles without ever smudging their costumes. A simpler time, indeed.
Those who grew up on this stuff will eat it up. Everyone else will enjoy it too, be it for historical value or plain entertainment. Those need only compare this show with the grittiness of “Deadwood” to track the evolution of the Western, and society in general, over the years.
This outstanding collection includes the first 78 episodes of the series, which equates to the first two seasons with Moore before he was replaced by John Hart for a season due to a salary dispute.
These episodes, which have been expertly remastered and look great, first aired from 1949 to 1950. The 75th anniversary label stems from the character’s first radio appearance. A radio episode is included among the extras, as are three episodes from a 1960s “Lone Ranger” cartoon and a classic “Lassie” episode with a Lone Ranger cameo.
The set is lacking a comprehensive featurette about the history of the show, but does include a nice booklet of trivia and other facts. Also included are replicas of Lone Ranger Fan Club membership cards, and other fun bits of memorabilia.
The Lone Ranger has been reinvented with every generation, so fans from any age group will find something to love here.