...thrilling days of yesteryear as "The Lone Ranger" rides again!
The catch is that we'll have to wait 'til June 2013!
This one has been long in the offing, and 3½ years ago this nightmare of a PhotoShopped image1 of George Clooney and Johnny Depp was making the rounds and causing much angst among fans of Fran Striker's famed radio character of our youth.
I wasn't a huge fan of the radio show2 so much as I was of the famous and rousing theme music by Gioachino Rossini. If the narrated introduction...
"A fiery horse with the speed of light! A cloud of dust and a hearty 'Hi-Yo, Silver!' The Lone Ranger!"
...grabbed my pre-adolescent attention, it was the finale of the William Tell Overture that always nailed it for me.
It was that way in 1981 when my daughter and I saw "The Legend of the Lone Ranger" at the Southampton UA.
This was a much-delayed film with poor word-of-mouth, and as the film unspooled I was certainly underwhelmed. The narrative was pretty close to Striker's original mythos: a troop of six Texas Rangers pursue outlaw Butch Cavendish and are ambushed by Cavendish's Hole-in-the-Wall gang at Bryant's Gap.
Outnumbered 35-to-six, the lawmen, including their Captain, Dan Reid and his younger brother John, are left for dead.
However, Potawatomi nation Native American "Tonto," back in the time when it was okay to refer to him as "an Indian," discovered that John Reid still lived, barely, and nursed him through his near-death experience.
When young "John" regained enough strength to ask about his companions, "Tonto" uttered the fateful words:
"Others dead... you... lone ranger now."
Digging six graves to make Cavendish think there were no survivors of the deadly ambush, "the masked man and his faithful Indian companion" hit the trail to right injustice everywhere!
I was semi-contentedly going along with the film, flaws and all, when "The Lone Ranger" vaults onto the back of "the great horse Silver" and takes off at a full gallop as the celebrated music hits the soundtrack like a clap of thunder, and I found myself levitated from my seat, thrilling at the sequence3.
"Dad!" a mortified 15-year old Peggy hissed with urgency. "Dad, sit down!"
I almost couldn't, then managed to compose myself and sit back in my seat... but not before I noticed that I had not been alone!
There we were, a tiny 40-something band of brothers, momentarily transported back to our youths, huddled up to a little radio for our thrice-weekly broadcasts.
(I've been told that my own radio review of that movie to the accompaniment of Rossini's best-known passage, was a memorable one.)
In truth, while it didn't fulfill the promise of its outstanding trailer, that movie holds a special place in my heart just for that moment, #1, and, #2, I've never felt that it was the wretched waste of celluloid critics generally accorded it.
Comes next year a new interpretation of this uniquely American mythos, and the photo released today of Johnny Depp as "Tonto" and Arnie Hammer as "The Masked Man," looks promising...
...but for the fact that it's a Jerry Bruckheimer production, a man with considerable success making formulaic films and television series of inconsistent quality.
The fact that neither Fran Striker nor original producer George W. Trendle are in the current list of credits, however, gives me serious pause.
They're losing me with the clean hat, starched white collar and suit, worn under a greasy black sweat bandana on the Lone Ranger's neck; accompanied by lily white hands?