Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger (1949)

There are few characters as wholesome in the golden age of entertainment as wholesome as the Lone Ranger. He stood as a symbol of decency and honor in the nearly three decades the show aired over radio and television who aimed never take a life, only to wound his appointment. He used silver bullet as a reminder that life was valuable.

Apparently, someone at Walt Disney didn’t the memo based on what the studio managed to produce, a violent and dark movie that left little room for the Lone Ranger creed or its high ideals. Many who have a memory of this character are saddened and angered by the motion picture version’s bastardization of the concept.

There was a time when the American entertainment industry produced great works: Comedies that were funny without relying on lewdness and profanity to get a laugh with comedic geniuses like Abbott and Costello and Red Skelton, there were great human dramas that taught moral points, and productions that had to tell powerful stories that would engage us without the benefit of being able to drop a stream of F-bombs, throw naked bodies on the screen, or just blow things up for the heck of it.

Hollywood doesn’t usually produce these type of films. Hollywood will often try to recapture golden age glory with their own updated version of classic stories but usually ends up producing something really stupid or offensive. The best Hollywood can do is to mock and belittle any wholesomeness and goodness in productions like Dragnet ’87 or The Brady Brunch. Hollywood only rarely gets it right, as they did with the 2011 film Captain America, but that was a definite exception.

The only way that future generations will understand and enjoy the great cultural works of the 1940s and 50s is if people deliberately and intentionally pass them on. The best way is from parents to their children. Growing up, my dad exposed to me to Abbott and Costello, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Pride of the Yankees, and many other programs and movies that were before my time. Because of that I really gained an appreciation of so much golden agen entertainment.
With the proliferation of DVDs, we’ve never had greater access to golden age cultural works of years gone by. If we want kids to enjoy wholesome quality entertainment, we shouldn’t wait for Hollywood to produce a film. It’s really a do it yourself job.

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