The Long Ranger [1st Lone Ranger Serial - 1938]

The Lone Ranger Rides Again  [2nd Lone Ranger Serial]

                    (From the 1st Lone Ranger Serial:  left to right -

                         Lee Powell, George Letz, Hal Taliaferro, Lane Chandler, and Herman Brix.)

By 1937, The Lone Ranger radio program was popular, and George Trendle (owner of the Lone Ranger Radio Programs) wanted to see if the character was saleable to Hollywood.  In June, 1937, a contract was signed between Trendle and Republic Pictures for a cliffhanger based on the Lone Ranger and Tonto.  Trendle/The Lone Ranger, Inc. was paid $18,750.00 plus 10% of any rental share above a $390,000.00 minimum.  The agreement also allowed Republic to release a condensed version of the serial (which they did in 1940 with the feature HI-YO SILVER).

The main issue between Republic and Trendle was that the Lone Ranger would unmask in Chapter 15, revealing himself as Allen King (played by Lee Powell).  Trendle didn't like this unmasking, but the contract gave Republic final authority on the script and characterizations.  Apparently, any issues/arguments were solved when Republic gave Trendle the music from the serial (and much of that music was used by Trendle in subsequent Lone Ranger radio broadcasts). 

The first 1938 Republic serial version of THE LONE RANGER muddies the "true identity" waters of the Lone Ranger by offering us five heroes, any one of whom might be the Ranger. The five leading men are picked off one by one by the outlaw leader, until only the genuine Ranger is left. There's nothing like process of elimination to solve a mystery; this process takes 15 full episodes.

The Lone Ranger candidates are played by  Lee PowellLane ChandlerHerman Brix (aka Bruce Bennett), Hal Taliaferro (aka Wally Wales) and George Letz (aka George Montgomery).  See Picture above.

Released in February, 1938, THE LONE RANGER serial was a huge financial success for both Republic and Trendle.  The serial also created new interest in the radio version and an additional hundred or so station picked up the show.  King Features even came out with a comic strip.


HI-YO SILVER, the approx 70 minute feature version of THE LONE RANGER (Republic, 1938) serial was released by VCI Entertainment and Goodtimes Video circa 2001. Both appear to be no longer available. In January, 2008, Amazon had some used copies of HI-YO SILVER in VHS and DVD. 

Click Here for --->Rare and Unique Hard Cover Books and Paperback Books for Sale on Ebay


1a.  The Lone Ranger (1938) -  Lee Powell  [1st Serial]

 Click Above---^

1b.  Another location for -->The Lone Ranger Serial


The second serial: 
The Lone Ranger Rides Again -  Individual Chapters (only Chapter 11 is missing)


During the summer of 1938, negotiations began for a sequel, and in September, a contract was signed with Republic agreeing to pay Trendle a substantial $40,000 against 10% of the gross.  This time, Trendle did not give approval for a feature version.  However, Republic still had authority over the script and screen characterizations (and star Bob Livingston would frequently mask and unmask).  The working title of the sequel was THE LONE RANGER RETURNS, but was changed to THE LONE RANGER RIDES AGAIN.  Negative costs totaled around $214,000.00, with filming initiated in late 1938, and theatrical release in February, 1939.

Both serials were directed by the team of William Witney and John (Jack) English, the dynamic duo generally recognized as the creators of the finest cliffhangers.


The audio has also been restored for the DVD version, which has much sharper picture quality than this YouTube version. For more information visit


 Click on Nero (below) for the software to create Movies on DVDs or Audio on CDs 


Click Here for a Free Download of--> The Lone Ranger Comics