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July 19, 2008:

HI-YO SILVER!

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, Thursday it was The Cisco Kid and last night it was The Lone Ranger. I ask you, where else on all the Internet can you read such a sentence? Nowhere, that’s where. In writing yesterday’s notes, I spoke of all the TV western shows that I never missed as a kid. And, like most people, my favorite of them was The Lone Ranger. Hi-Yo Silver! And the main reason I loved that show so much was the great Clayton Moore, who had such dignity and played a character so moral (he never shot to kill), and the great relationship with Tonto, as played by the equally wonderful Jay Silverheels. It’s amazing, actually, when you think how different the show was – presenting a Native American in such a positive light in the days when it was much easier to have them be the bad guys. I couldn’t wait until the brilliant strains of the William Tell Overture would begin and then during the next thirty minutes I could not be pried from the television. Of course, in those early days of TV, one watched these shows on a teeny-tiny black-and-white television set. So, imagine my excitement when I saw in the Herald Express that the Lone Ranger was made into a real movie and was playing at the nearby Lido Theater. Of course, I was there instantly. The first best thing about it was that for the first time I was seeing the Lone Ranger in brilliant color. And what color – those deep, royal blue skies and the equally blazing blue eyes of Mr. Clayton Moore (who knew), the reds of the earth, the greens of the plant life. And I really liked the story, too. They did another one right after it, but it wasn’t quite as good. I only saw the two films that one time. So, last night I pulled out the DVD of The Long Ranger feature film, which I’ve had since 2001 but had never actually watched, save for checking out the transfer. In those days, anamorphic transfers weren’t the norm, and sadly this DVD isn’t anamorphic – it does have the letterboxed version of the film, although it’s letterboxed at 1:66 rather than 1:85. The first thing I noticed was that despite the bad authoring on the DVD and a slightly soft picture throughout, the color was fantastic – just run this DVD if you want to see what color should look like, then compare and contrast with Warners total botch job on The Searchers, color-wise. In The Lone Ranger, the skies are that gorgeous blue that they should be, rather than the greenish/yellow of The Searchers. The next thing I noticed was that I still liked the story, and how great Mr. Moore and Mr. Silverheels were. They weren’t “acting” (or trying to) like so many of today’s so-called actors with their whispering and their intense intensity and BS method crap. No, Mr. Moore and Mr. Silverheels WERE The Lone Ranger and Tonto – they WERE the characters and the characters were them. We didn’t get nearly as much of the William Tell Overture as we did in the TV show, but David Buttolph’s score is rousing and appropriate. Michael Ansara as an Indian brave who wants to take over the tribe is great, as always, as are the rest of the character people in the film. The show ran about eighty-five minutes, a perfect running time. And Mr. Moore got to make several appearances in his old codger disguise, something he did really well. Anyway, it was a delight from start to finish and The Lone Ranger is still my favorite of all the TV westerns. I’m going to watch The Lone Ranger and the Lost City Of Gold next, to see how it holds up. I also watched the extras, which included a very long and rather ineptly shot and edited interview with Mr. Michael Ansara, conducted by his former publicist, our very own Druxy. During the first six minutes I thought our very own Druxy would never shut up, but finally Mr. Ansara began to speak and he was very interesting and it was very enjoyable. Then I watched another ineptly shot and edited interview with Clayton Moore’s daughter, this one conducted by Leonard Maltin. It, too, was interesting. And the best news is that in a couple of months the first two seasons of The Lone Ranger are being issued on DVD – hopefully from really good elements. Color me excited. Hi-Yo Silver!

Now wait just a darned minute – wasn’t that whole paragraph supposed to follow the paragraph where I talk about my day? Now I’m all discombobulated or, at the very least, discomgeorgelulated. I’m all turned around and I don’t know if I’m coming or going or even going or coming. Speaking of coming or going, yesterday was exactly what I wanted it to be – a total day of relaxation. Other than having a nice telephonic call and jogging, I didn’t really do much of anything, save for fooling around on the computer and puttering around the home environment. I didn’t even go out to do any errands at all. In fact, save for the jog, I didn’t leave the house until it was time to sup with cousins Dee Dee and Alan. We were meeting at six-forty-five at La La’s, so I left around six-thirty-five, did a quick tiny errand, and then luckily found a parking place. The company was, of course, sparkling, and dinner was better than last week – the grilled half chicken was very tasty and I really love their salad dressing – very light, but very piquant and tasty. After dinner, I came home and sat on my couch like so much fish, and watched The Lone Ranger, which, for some strange reason, I’ve already written about.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I must get up early and do a few things that need doing. While we’re all clicking, let’s all shout, Hi-Yo Silver! On the count of three: One, two, three – HI-YO SILVER! Away!

Today, I shall be jogging early, doing a few early errands, and then I must drive out to Mystery and Imagination Books and pick up a couple of copies of Kritzer Time and maybe Kritzerland – I need to send a couple of sets to various folks and I’m totally out of Kritzer Time. After that, I may whip up a big ol’ batch of tuna pasta salad. And, of course, I’ll watch the Lone Ranger sequel. I must say, that watching Mr. Moore put me in mind of the shameless way he was treated when Universal made the Lone Ranger movie in the 1980s, you know the one, the one with that brilliant nobody, Klinton Spilsbury – you know, the actor who was so bad he had to have his entire performance dubbed by James Keach. The yokels on the imdb LOVE it, it’s a misunderstood MASTERPIECE, but what’s mostly remembered is how these egomaniacal producers got a court order preventing Mr. Moore from wearing his mask at public appearances. Yes, Virginia, those arrogant pieces of lint got a court order. The press that action got was so negative and so horrible that the film’s tanking was the karma those jerks deserved. I believe they finally tried to tell Mr. Moore it was okay to once again wear the mask, but Mr. Moore, as well he should have, said no. He wore sunglasses from then on. How stupid were these people? Well, it’s Hollywood – pretty damn stupid and they got what they deserved, in spades. Their film was called The Legend Of The Lone Ranger, but they spat on the real legend – Clayton Moore.

Tomorrow, I’m going to join the Wechter clan at the New Beverly Theater for a screening of Midnight Madness, being introduced by writer Diablo Cody, who’s doing s series of her favorite 80s films.

May I take a moment to acknowledge the birthday of someone who is sadly no longer with us – the wonderful ozderek, who was a wonderful citizen of this here jernt, a warm and caring and terrific human being who left us way too young. And so a big haineshisway.com birthday cheer to ozderek. On the count of three and let’s shout it so loud that he can hear it: One, two, three – A BIG HAINESHISWAY.COM BIRTHDAY CHEER TO OZDEREK!!! You are missed.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, jog, do early errands, pick up some books, and then sit on my couch like so much fish eating tuna pasta salad and watching The Lone Ranger. Today’s topic of discussion: What is the first TV show you can consciously remember watching? And what were the TV shows that as a kid you never ever missed. Mine were The Lone Ranger, Superman, Boston Blackie, The Cisco Kid, Waterfront, Rin-Tin-Tin, Highway Patrol, Dragnet, and, of course, my beloved Sheriff John. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, and, just in case you’ve forgotten – Hi-Yo Silver, away!

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