The Lone Ranger (Clayton Moore) and his companion Tonto (Jay Silverheels) are riding along a trail in Arizona when they come upon a Native American being attacked by six hooded men. Before they can intervene the man is killed and a medallion he is wearing around his neck is taken. The Ranger’s horse, Silver, finds a baby hidden in some nearby rocks. The Ranger and Tonto take the baby to a mission run by Padre Vicente Esteban (Ralph Moody). Native American Paviva (Lisa Montell) volunteers to take care of the baby. The Padre tells the Ranger that there has been a wave of murder and robbery for the last three months. The locals call them the hooded raiders. Tonto goes to San Doria to have the local doctor, James Rolfe (Dean Fredericks), come and check on the baby. Dr. Rolfe comes to Tonto’s aid when the local racist sheriff (Charles Watts) picks a fight with him.
Redbird (Maurice Jara) from the local Indian tribe tells the Ranger that two of their members have been killed but they don’t know why. While they are talking the Ranger learns that they are camping near what is called the lake of fire. Translating markings on a nearby rock the Ranger finds out that the lake was created by a meteorite that also killed Spanish warriors that were slaughtering the natives. The natives are planning a celebration of the event.
When a third native is killed the Ranger figures out that they may have been murdered for a medallion they wear around their necks. The medallions were given to five men by the tribe’s chief, Tomache (John Miljan). The chief tells him that from one larger silver piece he cut five pieces and gave a section to five different men. Three of those men are now dead. One man is on his way from another town to be part of the lake of fire celebration. The Ranger and Tonto get there in time to stop the raiders from killing him but not from them stealing the medallion.
The Ranger captures one man. The man is killed by his cohorts but not before telling that the head of the raiders is Ross Brady (Douglas Kennedy). Posing as a bounty hunter the Ranger learns that the real brains behind the murders is the local philanthropic widow Frances Henderson (Noreen Nash). She tells him that the five medallions, when pieced together, show the location of a city of gold. When the Ranger finds out that Dr. Rolfe is actually a Native American and has the last medallion he must race to try to save him before Brady and his men get there first.
“The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold” was released in 1958 and was directed by Lesley Selander. It is an American western adventure film and a superhero movie. It is also the second of two theatrical films based on the television series “The Lone Ranger” that starred both Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels as the Ranger and Tonto. The first theatrical film was “The Lone Ranger” released in 1956. This was the last time that Clayton Moore played the masked man in a theatrical or television release.
Instead of hearing the familiar notes of the William Tell Overture the opening song for this film tells the story of the origin of the Lone Ranger and was written by Les Baxter.
As a western story the film is average but as nostalgia it gets a ten. The theme of the film is standard. Rich people want to be richer and will do whatever they want to get what they want. As British historian, politician and writer, Lord Acton once wrote “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
Don’t expect to see a lot of the city of gold. A few seconds of a matte painting will have to do. It does, however, boast a female villain who manages to put the male bad guys to shame. The movie may be average but it was made for kids, of all ages. The highlights of the film, in my opinion, were Silver coming to the rescue of the kidnapped baby and Scout stealing the blankets from Tonto.