The Lone Ranger

In 1865, Captain Mark Smith of the Confederate Army leads a band of deserters to conquer Texas and rule it as a dictator. In one of his first actions, he captures and assumes the identity of Texas' new Finance Commissioner, Colonel Marcus Jeffries, after having the real man murdered. When a contingent of Texas Rangers enters the territory, Snead, one of Smith's men, leads them into an ambush by Smith's "troopers". The Rangers are apparently wiped out, although one injured survivor is left. The survivor, nursed back to health by Tonto, swears to avenge the massacre and defeat "Colonel Jeffries" and his men.

The Lone Ranger is a 1938 American Republic Movie serial based on the radio program of the same name. It was the ninth of the sixty-six serials produced by Republic, the fourth western (a third of Republic’s serials were westerns) and the first Republic serial release of 1938. The following year a sequel serial The Lone Ranger Rides Again was released. The fifteen chapters of the serial were condensed into the film Hi-Yo Silver, which was released in 1940.

Plot
In 1865, Captain Mark Smith of the Confederate Army leads a band of deserters to conquer Texas and rule it as a dictator. In one of his first actions, he captures and assumes the identity of Texas’s new Finance Commissioner, Colonel Marcus Jeffries, after having the real man murdered. When a contingent of Texas Rangers enters the territory, Snead, one of Smith’s men, leads them into an ambush by Smith’s “troopers”. The Rangers are apparently wiped out, although one injured survivor is left. The survivor, nursed back to health by Tonto, swears to avenge the massacre and defeat “Colonel Jeffries” and his men.

When he is not operating as the Ranger, he appears under an assumed identity as one of a group of Texans resisting Smith’s rule. Smith, through a henchman, has narrowed the field of suspects down to five specific members of the resistance. One of these five—Allen King, Bob Stuart, Bert Rogers, Dick Forrest, and Jim Clark—actually is the Ranger, but only Tonto and the other four Texans know which one it is. Together, they operate as an effective team attempting to end Smith’s rule.

Cast
Lee Powell as Allen King, a Texan fighting against Smith who may be the Lone Ranger
Chief Thundercloud as Tonto, or “Wild One” in Native American language
Silver King as Silver. (Silver Chief in the sequel)
Hal Taliaferro as Bob Stuart, a Texan fighting against Smith who may be the Lone Ranger
Herman Brix as Bert Rogers, a Texan fighting against Smith who may be the Lone Ranger
Lane Chandler as Dick Forrest, a Texan fighting against Smith who may be the Lone Ranger
George Letz as Jim Clark, a Texan fighting against Smith who may be the Lone Ranger
Lynne Roberts as Joan Blanchard, George Blanchard’s daughter
Stanley Andrews as Mark Smith, former Captain in the Confederate Army working under the identity of the murdered Colonel Marcus Jefferies, State Finance Commissioner
George Cleveland as George Blanchard, emissary from Washington
William Farnum as Father McKim, local priest and ally of the Lone Ranger who sends messages via carrier pigeon
John Merton as “Kester”, one of Smith’s henchmen, a deserter and former captain in the Confederate Army
Sammy McKim as “Sammy”
Tom London as “Felton”, one of Smith’s henchmen, a deserter and former sergeant in the Confederate Army
Raphael Bennet as Black bart Taggart, one of Smith’s henchmen
Maston Williams as Joe Snead, one of Smith’s henchmen
Frank McGlynn Sr. as Abraham Lincoln, assassinated President of the United States (scene deleted from serial release, only appears in feature version “Hi Yo Silver”)
Billy Bletcher as voice of The Lone Ranger (uncredited)
Earle Graser as the voice of The Lone Ranger when calling “Hi-Yo Silver!”, Graser was the voice of the Lone Ranger on the initial radio series.

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