When the half-breed Collins (George Lewis) shows up at a Texas Ranger encampment wounded the Texas Rangers hear his story of how the Butch Cavendish (Glenn Strange) gang attacked a trading post and killed everyone. Collins managed to escape. Six Texas Rangers ride out with Collins after the gang. When they come to a canyon Collins scouts the area out. In reality Collins is a new member of the gang and the canyon is a trap. The Rangers are attacked and shot. One Ranger manages to survive and crawls off to the sanctuary of a sheltered area. The man is named Reid (Clayton Moore). One of the other Rangers killed was his brother Captain Reid (Tristram Coffin).
Reid is found by a Native American named Tonto (Jay Silverheels). He recognizes Reid by the ring he wears. The ring is one he gave Reid when Reid saved his life as a kid. He calls the man Kemosabe (trusty scout). He nurses Reid back to health. As the sole survivor of the attack Ranger Reid dons a mask that Tonto made from his dead brother’s vest and calls himself the Lone Ranger. He vows to bring to justice one hundred men for each of the five Rangers that were killed. Tonto wants to join him in his undertaking.
Before he can begin his crusade the Lone Ranger needs a horse. He and Tonto head for Wild Horse Valley. In the valley the Ranger shoots a wild buffalo that was about to gore a wounded horse. The Ranger nurses the white horse back to health. He names it Silver. Tonto and the Ranger visit a retired Ranger named Jim Blaine (Ralph Littlefield). Jim, the Ranger and the Ranger’s brother had once discovered a silver mine. The Ranger takes Blaine to the silver mine and instructs him to make bullets out of the silver he mines. Any other silver Jim takes out of the mine he can keep. All the Ranger wants is his bullets and enough silver to support his mission.
The Ranger finds out that Cavendish has been killing prominent men in the town of Colby and replacing them with his own men. He planned on framing Blaine for the murders until the Ranger showed up. The Ranger and Tonto head out toward Colby to bring Cavendish and his posse of hoodlums to justice.
“Enter the Lone Ranger” was released in 1955 and was directed by George B. Seitz Jr. The movie was re-edited from the first three episodes of "The Lone Ranger" television series. The episodes were, "Enter the Lone Ranger" 1949 "The Lone Ranger Fights On" 1949, and "The Lone Ranger's Triumph" 1949. The movie was edited as an origins story and was aired as a 22 anniversary special stemming from the Lone Ranger’s beginnings as a radio program in 1933. The original 60 minute film was made into an extended 69 minute film for syndication. When the film was shown in Mexico Tonto’s name, which means “fool” in Spanish was changed to “Toro” which means bull. Moore and Silverheels would reprise their roles in the 1956 film “The Lone Ranger” and “The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold” 1958.
The narration of the film was done by Gerald Mohr. Clayton Moore’s face is never seen until he dons his mask as the Lone Ranger. As Ranger Reid the Lone Ranger’s first name is never said.
Jay Silverheels was born Harry Smith. He was a Mohawk from Ontario, Canada. He was also a breeder and racer of horses. Clayton Moore was so tied to the Lone Ranger character that he is the only actor whose Hollywood star also bears the name of his character. Glenn Strange, who played Butch Cavendish was a 6’5” tall man who is known for playing Frankenstein’s monster in at least three of Universal’s Frankenstein movies as well as the bartender in the television series “Gunsmoke” and dozens of westerns throughout his career.
Does Kemosabe really mean trusted scout? Who knows? Even Fran Striker, the guy who created the Lone Ranger, was not forthcoming as to its origins.