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The premiere of this western series that chronicles the adventures of the Lone Ranger and his faithful American Indian partner, Tonto.

The story begins at a time of danger and lawlessness during the pioneer days of the Old West. In order to stem the tide of criminal activity, the Texas Rangers are formed as an elite law enforcement agency. A group of six of these Rangers track down the notorious Cavendish gang, led on by Collins, a survivor of their last raid. He leads them to a canyon and goes on alone to scout ahead. Collins is actually working with the Cavendish gang and lures the six Rangers into an ambush, where seemingly all of them are gunned down and murdered. Cavendish shoots Collins in the back as well, fearing that he might betray them just as he betrayed the Rangers. Hours later, one Ranger still clings to life and manages to reach a mountain spring. Collins also miraculously survives and heads off into the mountains. The Ranger is discovered by Tonto, an Indian. He recalls meeting the Ranger when they were boys; Tonto's family was killed and village razed by bandits, but the Ranger found him and nursed him back to health. They parted ways and Tonto gave him the title "kemosabe," meaning "trusted scout." To return the favor, Tonto heals the Ranger's wounds over the next few days. Tonto digs graves for the five dead Rangers and buries them.

The Ranger eventually recovers and laments the loss of the other Rangers, particularly Captain Reid, his brother. He vows to avenge their deaths by dedicating his life to fighting criminals and lawbreakers throughout the West. Tonto approves of his plan, but points out that the Cavendish gang will hunt him down once they learn that he is alive. The Ranger devises an idea: he asks Tonto to dig a sixth grave to make it seem that he is dead, and fashions a mask out of his brother's vest to disguise his true identity. He takes up a gun belt, but swears to only use them in self-defense and only to wound, as he feels it is not his place to dispense life or death. At Tonto's suggestion, he dubs himself "The Lone Ranger," and Tonto volunteers to join him on his quest for justice. Collins attacks them from a high vantage point to try and steal Tonto's horse. They fight back against him and climb up the sides of the canyon walls to try to outflank him. However, the Lone Ranger gets stuck on the cliff and Collins prepares to smash him with a boulder. Commercials deleted.


  • DATE: September 15, 1949 Thursday 7:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:22:36
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T:29581
  • GENRE: Drama, western
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Drama, western
  • SERIES RUN: ABC - TV series, 1949-1957


  • Jack Chertok … Producer
  • Harry H. Poppe … Associate Producer
  • George B. Seitz, Jr. … Director, Writer
  • Fran Striker … Based on the radio play by
  • Clayton Moore … Cast, Lone Ranger
  • Jay Silverheels … Cast, Tonto
  • Glenn Strange … Cast, Cavendish
  • George Lewis … Cast, Collins
  • Jack Clifford … Cast, Jerry
  • Tristram Coffin … Cast, Reid
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