WolfieToons by Dave Wolfe

WolfieToons by Dave Wolfe

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wondering About The Old West Redux

As a member of the First Television Generation, I thrilled to this:

The Lone Ranger made a pretty good transition from radio to TV.  He showed up on the Big Screen in color in 1956, but I didn't see that one until I was old enough to sit up in front of the television set.

They tried to do an "updated" movie in 1981 which, to borrow a phrase from Mel Brooks, stank on ice.  Klinton Spilsbury was so bad they had to bring in another actor post-production to overdub his dialogue.  Didn't they catch any of that in the auditions?!  Not even Christopher Lloyd as the villain Butch Cavendash could save that turkey.  

So it was with mixed feelings I found out Disney was doing a new version, with Armie Hammer (not to be confused with the baking soda) as TLR and Johnny Depp as Tonto.

For those of us who grew up with Clayton Moore and Jay Silver heels 

this look at Hammer and Depp may be something of a culture shock:

I dunno, it could be pretty cool.  Or it could be a rotting disaster, like "The Green Hornet" last summer, in which they altered the characters and the set-up to try to make it a "hip" snarky joke.  We'll see in May.

I am thinking of going to see "John Carter" this week, but since I've never read any of Edgar Rice Burroughs's "John Carter Warlord of Mars" books, I'll have to ask fan (and renowned romance author) Devlin O'Neill how well the Disney Dudes translated that one!  Well, Barsooming Dev goes to see it.  

Meanwhile, I hear Disney is doing a new version of "The Mickey Mouse Club," too! 

I'll probably tune that in.


  1. (Probably different ads will-- regretfully-- appear on that YouTube link, but I just fell off my chair laughing when the question "Is He Cheating On You?!" popped up just as the Ranger drew his six shooter and fired!!)

  2. I hate the ads on YouTube. Grr... I've never seen any of The Lone Rangers but I think Johnny Depp does a decent job playing anybody. It might be worth seeing.

  3. Hi, Lea!

    You've never seen any Lone Rangers, eh? I'm sure it's all over YouTube, and probably on some local station that's showing old shows-- if you have any curiosity.

    I've liked most of Mr. Depp's stuff, but not
    everything. For instance, I didn't like this last interpretation of "Alice," but "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" was a good take on Roald Dahl's book, and I bought into the spin he and Tim Burton did on "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."

    Overall, JD has a pretty good batting average with me. I'll be curious to see how TLR goes,and what they do with "Dark Shadows."

  4. Johnny Depp is pretty good - worth a try but for me usually re-makes are not so good.
    Kiwi xx

  5. Yep, Kiwi, whether or not I enjoy a new take on an older story depends on what they do with it and how, and my emotional investment in the original! Johnny is indeed pretty good!

  6. I hate to admit my favorite Johnny Dep movie is Sweeney Todd, it is a little gory but the music was good and besides, Alan Rickman was in it. :-)

    I am not big on remakes, True Grit was pretty good though.

    Where can I get one of those Mickey tee shirts? LOL They are a hoot, I bet Disney doesn't sell them. :-)

  7. Hi, Kaki!!

    The Mouse Tees ARE a Hoot!! (Ha, you thought I was going to grab a pun, I bet.) But, sure, they're for sale at all the Disney shops right next to the Tinker Bell panties that sprinkle pixie dust when you get spanked!

    Oh, okay, not really. But they SHOULD Be.

    I thought Johnny acquitted himself very well singing in the musical "Sweeney Todd!" One of the many successful Burton-Depp team-ups!

  8. Yes, he did. I liked the song "Pretty Women" he sang with Alan Rickman the most but all the music was very good. That song was a little stressful though. *bites finger nails*

    You showed great self control, Wolfie. :-)

    1. Thank you, Kaki. ;-)

      I've heard a little of the Broadway "Sweeney Todd," with Angela Lansbury. She says that Mrs. Lovett was one of her very favorite roles!!

  9. DW, as a kid I saw the Clayton Moore/Jay Silverheels version of The Lone Ranger and Tonto in reruns. I guess from an early age I was maladjusted because I always wanted to see TLR shoot the bad guy dead instead of just shooting the pistol out of his hand.
    Johnny Depp as Tonto? My first reaction is "No Way" but Depp has pulled off so many unique roles - loved him in Edward Scissorhands - I bet he will put his own stamp on the role.
    Thanks for the info as I had not heard about TLR remake.

    And I always thought Mickey and Minnie Mouse - or should that be Mickey and Minnie Mice? - were a couple of boobs.

    1. Oh, I understand the visceral attraction of seeing the bad guys blown to bits, too, Mike! But that was the Ranger's Code: "I'll shoot if I have to-- but I'll shoot to wound, not to kill! If a man must die, it's up to the Law to decide that, not the person behind a six-shooter!" He wanted to instill a sense of moral justice in ALL of us maladjusted miscreants!!

      It'll be interesting to see if they hold to that in the new movie. After all, Chris Reeve made his Superman credible to 70's audiences saying out loud, "I'm here to fight for truth, Justice, and the American way!"

      LOL!! Yes, yes, Mickey and Minnie are lovable boobs indeed. And I think the proper grammar would be:

      "Aw, Season, don't tell me you're having the Mouses over again! That's the fourth time we've had those mice at dinner this week! I hate meeses to pieces! Come over here, young lady!"

  10. I loved watching the Lone Ranger and Tonto as a child, and usually watched for Bullet the wonder dog.

    Can you imagine Darlene and Annette wearing those shirts? Roy, maybe:)


    1. Bless you Hermione, I'd forgotten Darlene!! Good ol' Roy!! I always liked "ROY!" Yeah, he kinda looked like he WAS one of those shirts already.

      Wasn't Bullet Roy Rogers's dog, though? Wow, I'd forgotten about him, thanks again-- he was a wonderous German Shepherd!

      Come to think of it, so was Rin-Tin-Tin!

      They did a parody of him on "Beany and Cecil," a robot dog named Rin-Tin-Can.

      I don't know what breed Manfred the Wonder Dog was, who hung out with Tom Terrific.

      OH! I just saw this on the web:

      "Every time I read ROFL it makes me think of Scooby-Doo trying to say, 'Waffle.'"

    2. Oh, and of course, HUGS right back!!

  11. Doh! The Lone Ranger didn't have a dog; what was I thinking?

    I remember those dogs on Beany and Cecil and Tom Terrific too. Haven't thought of those shows for years.

    Astro on The Jetsons would pronounce "waffle" as ROFL too.

    1. Rat's RIGHT, Rermione! Rou're rerrific!!

    2. There is only one Lone Ranger and one Tonto and they are Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels. They have both passed away,but I will never forget the lessons that they taught on TV about right and wrong. Hi-Ho Silver Away.

    3. Thanks, A., and there's a story every Lone Ranger Fan should see told:

      Jay Thomas is a broadcast personality /sportcaster who shows up on Letterman every Christmastime to hurl a football at the meatball on top of the Christmas tree and tell this story-- from a radio "remote" broadcast at a car dealership he did in the 70's with Clayton Moore, the Lone Ranger himself!!


  12. If Christopher Lloyd can't save a movie, nobody can.

    I don't remember watching TLR on TV. I like the theme song, though. :-)

    I love the music from Sweeny Todd. I have the Angela Lansbury/Len Cariou version. It does tell a harrowing and somewhat tragic story, though. And I agree, Kaki, a gory one. Guess I should see Johnny Depp do it.

    I think it's hard to remake a classic anything, and do it well.

    1. Right you are, Larken! Or as Doc Brown would say, "GREAT SCOTT!!"

      As you know, Sweeney Todd has a long theatrical history; this version at least gives the Demon Barber somewhat more sympathetic motivation! And good songs!

      Now I'm staring at my chicken pot pie with less assurance and appetite.