Best Of The West 2012: The Lone Ranger And Tonto
The masked man and his faithful "Indian companion" are tops on our readers' list.
Photo: Wrather Corp/Apex Film Corp/Kobal Collection
On January 30, 1933, an action-adventure program starring a straight-shooting hero premiered on Detroit radio station WXYZ. The announcer dramatically intoned, “A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty ‘Hi-Yo Silver.’ The Lone Ranger!”
And just who was that masked man? A “daring and resourceful” avenger who, with “his faithful Indian companion,” Tonto, led the fight for law and order in the early West. Call them the original dynamic duo and you won’t be far off the mark: Seven years before Robin joined Batman to patrol the mean streets of Gotham City, The Lone Ranger and Tonto already were fighting the good fight throughout the Wild West.
Over the years, the dashing masked man and his Native American buddy have appeared in feature films, paperbacks, comic books, TV cartoon shows, and, of course, an enduringly popular 1949 – 57 television series that showcased Clayton Moore (and, for 52 episodes, John Hart) as The Lone Ranger and Jay Silverheels as the resourceful Tonto.
Some die-hard fans still wince when they’re reminded about The Legend of the Lone Ranger, a critically roasted 1981 movie. Expectations are considerably higher for an upcoming reboot — simply titled The Lone Ranger — due in theaters next year. The new film, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Gore Verbinski, will feature Armie Hammer (of The Social Network and J. Edgar) as the good guy with the silver bullets and the ever-unconventional Johnny Depp as his faithful companion. Looks like the Wild West is about to get a bit wilder.