I just received this set this evening and have spent some time going through it. I did not observe any 11-13 minute episodes that have been mentioned in other reviews, the ones I checked appeared to be full-length. There are quite a few 22-23 minute episodes, but there do not appear to be any significant edits to the best of my knowledge. There is some time compression but nothing that I found to be too distracting from what I’ve observed so far, and I’ve barely noticed any jumpiness in the picture or any warbling on the sound that sometimes accompanies severe time compression on other releases and TV broadcasts. In fact the episodes look better than any syndicated TV print I’ve seen. And of course the 25 minute shows look amazing.
The sections immediately following the main title intro that used to say “Return with us now to the thrilling days of yesteryear” do appear to be removed from the episodes I glanced at. There is also a weird insertion of a close-up of the Lone Ranger sitting still on his horse inserted at the point in the main title intro when he’s charging up the hill on his horse and the narrator says “…and a hearty hi-yo Silver”, then it cuts back to the standard shot of him rearing up on Silver. I don’t ever remember that shot being inserted in syndication, I always recall that it was a continuous shot of him riding up the hill and rearing up. It appears in all of the episodes I glanced at. No biggie, but it still struck me as odd.
Only other quibbles I have are that there don’t appear to be chapter stops inserted, and the time counter for the episodes continue to accrue; they don’t start at 00:00:00 at the beginning of each episode but instead have one continuous running time from the beginning of the first episode to the end of the last episode on the disc. Makes it difficult to figure out each show’s running time.
The extras included in this set are plentiful and nicely crafted. The commemorative book in particular has a lot of material to go through. There is a bonus disc featuring some LR cartoons, a Lassie episode with the LR and some radio shows, a Season 1 and 2 episode guide, a ‘signed’ photo, a vintage comic book reproduction, a vintage ID card, Victory Corps membership kit, Lone Ranger Safety Club postcard, and trading cards.
I was on the fence about this set for the last several days but several reviews here and at the Home Theater Forum (along with the great job Classic Media did on the Sergeant Preston sets I own) convinced me to take the plunge and I’m glad I did. It is a blast seeing these episodes again and reliving some fond memories from my childhood in the process. I hope we get more seasons released from Classic Media, perhaps one next year for the 60th anniversary of the TV show.
Definitely recommended to any Lone Ranger fan! You get a lot of great material for the price.
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It is great news to hear that “The Lone Ranger” seasons one and two shall be released as a properly restored 13 disc set. This is the second of two good pieces of DVD news for me this fall, the first being the release of the 1929-1938 Little Rascals shorts.
There was a time, from my childhood up until the mid-1980′s, when shows such as the Lone Ranger and The Little Rascals filled week-day afternoon and Saturday morning TV slots. Old movies could be readily found on TV late at night and on Sunday afternoons. Ever since TV stations began filling every extra additional minute with infomercials and their own first-run productions and reality shows, as well as the beginning of the continuous news cycle, these old classics have not seen the light of day. Even networks supposedly dedicated to classic TV seem to think that “Scrubs” and “The Fresh Prince” constitute classic TV. That’s why it’s great to have shows such as The Lone Ranger properly restored and available to us again.
I also appreciate that all 78 episodes of the first two seasons are in this set, oddly distributed as 52 weekly episodes in season one and 26 in season two. No stingy “Season 1 Volume 1″ sets here, just because there were more episodes per season during the 50′s and 60′s than exist today. Do note that some of the episodes are very short – in some cases only 11 or 12 minutes long. That is because sometimes the sponsor would put two short serials in the same half hour slot. The time really belonged to the sponsor back in those days, and early TV schedules looked a lot like radio at first.
My favorite episode of the first two seasons was “The Silent Voice” towards the end of season two. The witness to a crime is a stroke victim who is completely paralyzed. The Lone Ranger comes up with a way for the woman to communicate by blinking in response to letters of the alphabet.
The other episode from this early part of the series that sticks out is one in which the wife in a husband/wife crime team betrays the husband and shoots him. He is presumed dead and taken to the undertaker’s. The Lone Ranger discovers that the husband is not dead, and the husband makes a confession as to what is going on before he dies as he lies on a slab about to buried – alive. The Lone Ranger tricks the wife by claiming that her husband is still alive. That’s what I liked about the Lone Ranger – it really could be very dark. There would always be the happy ending with the criminals rounded up and jailed, but that didn’t mean that some good people didn’t fall along the way or that something really creepy or cringe-worthy wasn’t part of the plot. Highly recommended. The following is the listing of the episodes on each disc:
1. Enter the Lone Ranger [25:42] – (September 15,1949) – Six Texas Rangers, led by Captain Dan Reid, are ambushed in a canyon by the outlaw, Butch Cavendish and his gang. One ranger, Reid’s brother John, survives the attack. He is found and nursed back to health by an old friend from his childhood, Tonto. John Reid fashions a mask from his slain brother’s vest, and becomes the Lone Ranger.
2. The Lone Ranger Fights On [25:43]
Part two of the introduction tells why the Lone Ranger uses silver bullets and how he found his horse, Silver.
3. The Lone Ranger’s Triumph [25:20]
The conclusion of the intro. The outlaw Butch Cavendish becomes the first of 219 people to ask “Who was that masked man?”.
4. Legion of Old Timers [22:11]
5. Rustler’s Hideout [22:52]
6. War Horse [24:37]
1. Pete and Pedro [24:50]
2. The Renegades [25:24]
3. The Tenderfeet [22:36]
4. High Heels [13:27]
5. Six Gun’s Legacy [25:26]
6. Return of the Convict [22:39]
7. Finders Keepers [22:38]
1. The Masked Rider [24:27]
2. Old Joe’s Sister [25:34]
3. Cannonball McKay [22:34]
4. The Man Who Came Back [22:43]
5. Outlaw Town [22:44]
6. Greed for Gold [22:46]
1. Man of the House [22:55]
2. Barnaby Boggs, Esquire [23:09]
3. Sheep Thieves [22:55]
4. Jim Tyler’s Past [11:40]
5. The Man With Two Faces [22:58]
6. Buried Treasure [22:59]
7. Troubled Water [22:52]
1. Gold Train [22:53]
2. Pay Dirt [22:49]
3. Billie the Great [22:45]
4. Never Say Die [22:47]
5. Gold Fever [22:51]
6. Death Trap [22:52]
1. A Matter of Courage [22:42]
2. Rifles and Renegades [22:45]
3. Bullets for Ballots [22:46]
4. The Black Hat [12:18]
5. Devil’s Pass [22:49]
6. Spanish Gold [22:48]
7. Damsels in Distress [22:40]
1. Man Without a Gun [22:41]
2. Pardon for Curley [22:49]
3. Eye for an Eye [22:48]
4. Outlaw of the Plains [13:14]
5. White Man’s Magic [22:42]
6. Trouble for Tonto…
…To Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear! That’s right Classic TV western fans – it’s finally happened. Hi-Yo Silver, Away! Our favorite hero, The Lone Ranger, rides again! He is being given the DVD respect he deserves but has never received.
The years of wasting money on Lone Ranger DVDs only to get release-after-release of public domain junk that should have been dumped into the trash bin rather than the cut-rate DVD bin are over. Classic Media has produced the best quality and most extensive compilation of RE-MASTERED episodes of this icon of so many of our childhoods – whether male or female.
The Lone Ranger – the 75th Anniversary Collector’s Edition includes every episode from Season 1 and Season 2, which aired on ABC from 1959-1960, together in one package. (In these seasons, Clayton Moore portrayed The Lone Ranger and Jay Silverheels was Tonto, his Native-American partner.)
In the classic story, our hero is a lone Texas Ranger who survived an ambush and was nursed back to health by Tonto, who referred to him as ‘Kemo Sabe.’ They bankrolled their efforts to do good via a silver mine, which also supplied the Ranger with the silver bullets — the calling card he becomes known by throughout the West.
Enter the Lone Ranger! The first three episodes tells the origin of our hero, and how he met and joined forces with Tonto, as well as how he found his trusty steed, Silver. (Tonto rode Scout.) After that, the episodes chronicle their exciting adventures.
In addition to the 78 episodes (1,900 plus minutes) of the show on about a dozen photo-discs, this Anniversary set also includes three bonus episodes from the ’60s cartoon series, a classic episode of Lassie featuring The Lone Ranger, and an original Lone Ranger radio show broadcast from 1950. But, not to end there, this great package includes an 88-page Commemorative Book, a complete episode guide, reprints of rare comic books and photos, and limited edition collectibles, too.
Fran Stiker and George W. Trendle created the Lone Ranger as a local radio program in 1933. It quickly went nationwide and was the cornerstone of the old Mutual Radio network. The “Hi-Yo Silver!” shout at the beginning of each episode is a recording of Earle W. Graser, who played the Lone Ranger on radio from 1933-1941.
Here is the complete Classic TV opening (which played over the strains of Rossini’s `William Tell’ Overture):
“A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty `Hi Yo Silver!’ The Lone Ranger…`Hi Yo Silver, away!’ With his faithful Indian companion Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains, led the fight for law and order in the early west. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. The Lone Ranger rides again!”
At the end of most episodes, the towns folk or others who were saved from the desperados often asked, “Who was that Masked Man?” to images of The Lone Ranger and Tonto galloping away into the sunset.
The Lone Ranger is truly immortal, with three feature films, more than 3,000 Classic Radio shows, 220 Classic TV shows, 18 novels, hundreds of comic books, and a Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. (In 1952, B-film actor John Hart replaced Clayton Moore, who had threatened to quit after 1950. He was being paid only $500 an episode for his hit show, and wanted a substantial raise. Audiences rejected Hart in the role, and after a mere 36 episodes Moore was back atop Silver. Moore wore the mask in 169 episodes through the end of the show’s run in 1957, while Silverheels was Tonto for each episode of the TV series. Moore also brought and won a famous lawsuit to allow him to wear THE MASK and costume in personal appearances after he left the show. While the suit was pending, he wore wraparound sunglasses and starred in an equally famous sunglass commercial that asked, “Who was that Masked Man behind those Foster Grants?”)
Still today, the Ranger remains a symbol of truth, justice, courage and friendship, embodied in the Lone Ranger creed, a copy of which is included in this boxed set, and reads in part: “I do solemnly swear to be honest and truthful…to pledge my hand to the weak…to pledge my heart to the helpless…to pledge my life to my fellowmen.”
Hooray to Classic Media for this truly classic, and long-overdue, DVD tribute to the Ranger for both old and new fans alike.