Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Last week, yapping about the first Lone Ranger serial, I told you it was a lost film, because when Republic lost the rights to the character they were forced to destroy all it’s prints. Well, insane as that was, the same thing happened to this second serial, released in 1939.
On these posters, you'll notice the Ranger wears the now-familiar opera mask. In the film, though, he wore the long, netted version shown on the lobby cards, as he did in the first serial.
The plot, apparently, was pretty standard homesteaders vs. cattlemen fare, with Bill Andrews/TLR coming down on the side of the nesters. His chief opposition is a gang of bullies called the Black Raiders. Chief Thunder-Cloud returned as Tonto, which was a plus, and the Ranger was given a second sidekick, Juan Valdez, played by future Cisco Kid Duncan Renaldo.
George Trendle, who controlled the character rights, had been unhappy with the Ranger’s unmasking at the end of the first serial. He was far less pleased to see his hero running around unmasked through most of this one. He did like Livingston, though, and tried to make a deal with Universal to make a third serial, with Livingston in the role. Republic balked, refusing to loan Livingston out, and the project was scrapped. Too bad.
A restored and reconstructed version of The Lone Ranger Rides Again is available from Serial Squadron. Though the original content is apparently more complete than their restoration of the first serial, visual quality is not quite as good, because they had to use a “paste-over” technique to remove Spanish subtitles. Still, if I was feeling flush (which I’m not) and had $24.95 (which I don’t) I’d probably order a copy. Click HERE and scroll down to find it..