DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

LONE RANGER AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD, THE (director: Lesley Selander; screenwriters: Robert Schaefer/Eric Freiwald; cinematographer: Kenneth Peach; editor: Robert Golden; music:  Les Baxter; cast: Clayton Moore (Lone Ranger), Jay Silverheels (Tonto), Douglas Kennedy (Ross Brady), Noreen Nash (Frances Henderson),  Charles Watts (Sheriff Oscar Matthison), Lisa Montell (Paviva), Norman Fredric (Dr. James Rolfe), Ralph Moody (Padre Vicente Esteban), Maurice Jara (Redbird), John Miljan (Chief Tomache), Belle Mitchell (Caulama), Bill Henry (Travers), Lane Bradford (Wilson); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Sherman A. Harris; United Artists; 1958)

"Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels reprise their TV roles as the Lone Ranger and Tonto."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Lesley Selander ("The Broken Star"/"The Texican"/"Revolt at Fort Laramie") listlessly directs this follow up to the terrific 1956 Lone Ranger. Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels reprise their TV roles, begun in 1949, as the Lone Ranger and Tonto. It's written according to its simplistic TV formula roots by Robert Schaefer and Eric Freiwald. The story tells about the greedy wealthy Arizona widow rancher Frances Henderson (Noreen Nash), in the town of Sandorio,  hiring thugs, led by the boorish Ross Brady (Douglas Kennedy), to dress in hoods and steal 5 silver necklaces worn by five different Indians. Each medallion piece is a plate and part of a puzzle that when seen as a whole will reveal a map to a nearby lost city of gold--called Cibola by the Indians. It comes with a back story to explain this plot line in more detail

While the masked crime-stopper Lone Ranger and his faithful Indian companion Tonto are riding over the Arizona Hills, they are too late to save an Indian from being killed by six hooded men. They take the Indian's baby he hid from the killers in the nearby rocks and bring him to the mission run by Padre Vicente Esteban (Ralph Moody). The padre tells the strangers that this is the third Indian killed for his necklace. The padre then lets the Native American Paviva (Lisa Montell) care for the child.

Spoilers: in next two paragraphs.

The Lone Ranger lays a trap for the baddies and poses as a southern bounty hunter looking for the killers. After one of the 'hooded raiders' is captured he blabs to the torturing warrior Redbird (Maurice Jara) who is their field leader, before killed by his own men. The disguised Lone Ranger will draw out Frances as the big boss and Ross as the one carrying out her criminal plans. In the climax the Lone Ranger and Tonto will win a shoot-out with the baddies.

The subplot has much to do about how Dr. James Rolfe (Norman Fredric), the unknown holder of the fifth medallion, the long-lost grandson of Chief Tomache (John Miljan), poses as a white man so he can be the racist town's doctor and thereby save up enough money by having paying white patients to some day save enough to build a needed hospital on the reservation. In the end, after one slur too many, Dr. Rolfe publicly reveals himself as an Indian and openly unites with Paviva and the abandoned child. All the good people are again happy. So it's "Hi yo, Silver, away!" for the two wholesome heroic crime busters, who work the range in the Old West to make the world a better place to live in.

REVIEWED ON 4/11/2015       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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