Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Discuss: All Things Lone Ranger and Tonto





13 comments:

david_b said...

Much like our discussion on Supes, few actors really, successfully add dimension and depth to the roles. Unquestionably, Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels all the way.

No question, nada.

Humanbelly said...

Boy, the new film got LAMBASTED in the Washington Post this morning. One star. The previews have not made me excited about it at all. They, at least, seem to suggest a Lone Ranger who is earnest but less than adept in his role, and a completely whacked-out, culturally-offensive side-kick who appears to be running things--- awfully similar to the recent Green Hornet re-make.

I mostly remember the kind of oddball Saturday morning cartoon from childhood that relied on very little actual animation, but had a cool, rough, "artsy" look to it. Almost expressionistic, IIRC.

I do catch the old, OLD B&W version of the tv show pretty frequently on one of the local antenna stations. It's. . . pretty darned hokey, the scripts are AWFUL, but there is indeed an engaging quality to it that is generated almost entirely by Moore & Silverheels. Poor Clayton Moore never, ever entirely gave up the role, even when he was finally legally forbidden to appear in the mask in public anymore. Such a heartbreak.

HB

Humanbelly said...

Ooh, this is a welcome follow-up. I checked Clayton Moore's personal data, and he indeed WON a counter-suit that allowed him to assume the character once again-- which he did until shortly before his death about 20 years later. That makes me feel better.

HB

Rip Jagger said...

Love the Lone Ranger!

The Ranger was a regular Sunday strip in my local paper as I grew up, as well as the classic TV show.

The 80's movie has virtues, but ultimately fails.

The ideals of the Ranger, as epitomized by Clayton Moore's dedication to the those ideals and his recognition of the importance of heroes for kids really made me value what those old shows said. They are dated, but timeless too. Fun often, but also tedious at times.

The new movie looks to be a lot of fun, but I fear the ideals are washed away in the tumult of the slam bang action. I do plan to see it soon, I'd hoped to do so today, but timing will not be right.

Rip Off

J.A. Morris said...

I had some of those Gabriel Lone Ranger toys, they provided many hours of fun. I think my favorite was the ranger's "prospector" disguise playset, I still have the burrow somewhere in my attic:

http://compare.ebay.com/like/200938405775?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar

I'm not sure about the new movie, might be a "wait for it to play at the $2.00 theater" movie at best.

In enjoyed the Moore/Silverheels reruns as a kid and they're still fun, if dated.

Has everyone heard Jay Thomas' story about Clayton Moore? It's hilarious,about 5 minutes long:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFabfnfhIaY

Karen said...

I don't really have any strong feelings for the character. I do recall watching the Clayton Moore/Jay Silverheels version as a wee one but it never made a strong impression on me. We'll probably go see the new film, although I have the feeling it will be a lot of noise and not much plot. Unlike some people though, I like the way Johnny Depp's Tonto looks, dead bird on his head and all.

Karen said...

J.A., that story by Jay Thomas was hilarious! But I've often wondered about Clayton Moore, and if he wasn't in some fantasyland in his head. He really seemed obsessed with being the Lone Ranger.

themiddlespaces said...

This article may be of interest: http://www.salon.com/2013/07/03/johnny_depps_tonto_misstep_race_and_the_lone_ranger/

I probably know the character best from the Saturday morning cartoon, though I did catch some reruns of the 1950s TV version back then, as well.

I don't have a lot of affection for the character - even as a kid I was suspicious of the Lone Ranger/Tonto relationship, feeling like the latter got the short end.

Then again, being a precocious kid, I have a distinct memory of reading the section on Native Americans in my older brother's h.s. history textbook and being shocked that everything I knew about "cowboys and indians" was wrong. Starting in about 3rd grade I started getting in trouble for challenging the narrative of westward expansion in social studies class. :)

themiddlespaces said...

Another review:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/07/a-punishingly-overlong-i-lone-ranger-i/277496/?google_editors_picks=true

Karen said...

Osvaldo, you bring up some good points. You have to wonder if these characters aren't inherently impossible to portray today. I haven't seen the film (I'm not sure now, after reading some reviews, if I want to!) but I've read that in this version Tonto is actually more the leader of the two. I'm sure this was done to try to right the wrongs of the past, but I'm betting it will also outrage purists. However, I've also read that he retains the Pidgin English speech pattern. I'm not sure why this was necessary. I know Depp likes his characters to be eccentric but I'm sure there are other things he could have done. Native Americans are rare in films today, and it's too bad that when they show up, they are still cartoon characters and not real people.

Anonymous said...

I read my dad's copy of Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee when I was around 10. Like theemiddlespaces brother's HS history books, it shattered my conceptions of "cowboys and indians. Don't have any special feelings towards The Lone Ranger.

Graham said...

My daughter wants to see it (Johnny Depp fan). I will basically go to drive her and to see how these "enlightened" Hollywood types manage to screw it up for us loyal devoted followers of the character. Like Karen says, most of these "event" movies (not all, of course, but most) are all noise and little else.

Grumble grumble. ;)

Anonymous said...

You've probably heard memes and rumors about George Reeves: that he went nuts, thought he was really Superman, and shot himself thinking that the bullet would bounce harmlessly off. (A variation is the story that he jumped off a roof attempting to fly.) There is no evidence to support the idea, and the official verdict was that he committed suicide because type casting ruined his career. With Clayton Moore, though, I don't even recall any rumors that he lost touch with reality, or that he thought he was really the Lone Ranger, lived in his own fantasyland, or whatever. It's a sign of our cynical times that we have trouble accepting the idea that an actor might want to use his fame to set a good example and be a positive role model. Just as it's a sign of the times that the new remake has to be played as a semi-parody, because the hipsters can't take a morally upright hero seriously. It is our loss.

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