#100. The Lone Ranger
Live-Action Feature Film
February 25, 1956
Director: Stuart Heisler
Writers: Herb Meadow
Cast: Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger, Jay Silverheels as Tonto, Lyle Bettger as Reece Kilgore, Perry Lopez as Pete Ramirez, Robert J. Wilke, as Cassidy, John Pickard as Sheriff Sam Kimberley, Beverly Washburn as Lila Kilgore
The Reason It’s Great
The character of the Lone Ranger is rarely considered a superhero, but he actually is one. He may not align with what we consider to be a “superhero” in modern times—cape, tights, and superpowers—but he has all the makings of one. He’s basically “Batman in the Old West.” Well, maybe a better phrase would be “Batman is an updated Lone Ranger.” And, yes, I know that Zorro influenced the Dark Knight’s creation. I’m just making a comparison between Batman and the Lone Ranger.
However, not all Lone Ranger stories are great. The one that makes it to our list is the 1956 feature film that was based on The Lone Ranger television series that ran from 1949 to 1957. This feature film doesn’t have an origin story (which eradicates the doldrums of sitting through a good amount of time before seeing the hero) and gets right into the action.
It’s a great film and was sort of ahead of its time. Instead of the usual “Cowboys vs. Indians” trope, the Masked Man figures out that a wealthy rancher named Reese Kilgore is attempting to take over sacred lands and mine them for silver by starting a war between the settlers and Native Americans. The Lone Ranger soon steps in to stop the violence and bring peace.