Hi-Yo Silver (1940) - Introduced by Ed Hulse
Screening & Panel
High School Auditorium
Friday 9:00 AM
In a special program on Friday morning celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the Lone Ranger serial, the 1940 edited feature version of The Lone Ranger, will screen at 9:00 AM. Following the screening there will be a discussion about the serial’s making. The participants will include film historian Ed Hulse and Jay Dee Witney, son of William Witney, co-director of the serial and a previous guest at the Lone Pine Film Festival. Since Hi-Yo Silver was last screened here, Ed has come into possession of documents related to all aspects of production, including the original contract between Republic Pictures and George W. Trendle, owner of the Lone Ranger property. Heretofore unreported information gleaned from these documents will be presented exclusively for Film Festival attendees. Jay Dee will offer anecdotes from his dad about the serial’s making and let us know how important a role this classic film played in Bill Witney’s career.
Eighty years ago this very weekend, movie-theater patrons in America and many foreign countries were following Republic Pictures' 15-chapter serial, The Lone Ranger, then just finishing its first-run engagements. A phenomenal success, it was the only Republic chapter play to generate more than a million dollars in worldwide revenue—at a time when Saturday-matinee attendees typically paid 10 to 15 cents for admission. This adaptation of the popular radio series was cut down to 69 minutes for release in 1940 as a feature film titled Hi-Yo Silver, which has been preserved from its original 35mm negative. (The serial versions of both The Lone Ranger and its 1939 sequel, The Lone Ranger Rides Again, survive only in pale, blurry copies of 16mm prints with Spanish subtitles.) A 16mm show print was struck from the preservation material solely for exhibition at a previous Lone Pine Film Festival and has since been released on DVD
Hulse, one of the Festival's resident film historians, has recently obtained copies of heretofore unavailable documents related to The Lone Ranger's production, which took place largely in Lone Pine. This treasure trove of behind-the-scenes information—including contracts, budgets, schedules, memos, telegrams, lawyers' letters, and personal correspondence—was unearthed from the archives of WXYZ owner George W. Trendle by indefatigable Old Time Radio researcher Martin Grams, who is currently writing what will be the definitive book on the Masked Rider of the Plains in all his media incarnations. With Martin's permission Ed will present much of this never-before-disseminated information to accompany our 80th anniversary screening of Hi-Yo Silver.
Ed Hulse has been a journalist and film historian for nearly 40 years. His essays, reviews, and news stories about the home-video and motion-picture industries have appeared in such mainstream publications as Premiere, Entertainment Weekly, Video Review, The New Yorker, and The New York Times in addition to the trade journals Variety, Millimeter, Video Business, and This Week in Consumer Electronics. During the late 1980s his work was syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group. For four years he edited the consumer magazine Previews, a monthly guide to new video releases. He has co-edited (with Packy Smith) the revised and expanded 1994 version of Don Miller's Hollywood Corral and was a contributing editor to Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia. Between 2000 and 2007 he was the lead critic and celebrity interviewer for the Film/Video section of Barnes&Noble.com. For 15 years he edited and published the award-winning journal Blood 'n' Thunder, which covered adventure, mystery and melodrama in American pop-culture media of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Additionally, Hulse is the author of The Films of Betty Grable (1996), Filming the West of Zane Grey (2007), Frances Dee: A Film History (2016), Flickering Shadows (2016) and The Wild West of Fiction and Film (2018). He has also written a two-volume history of silent-era movie serials, Distressed Damsels and Masked Marauders (2013) and Handsome Heroes and Vicious Villains (2015). For nearly four years he hosted Movie Mania, the nation's first public-access cable TV show devoted exclusively to motion pictures. For many years he has participated in the Lone Pine Film Festival and was the founder and original editor of Lone Pine in the Movies. His latest book on motion-picture history is Wage Slaves in the Dream Factory: Low-Budget Filmmaking During Hollywood's Golden Age.
Additional publications of Ed's can be found at his website: http://muraniapress.com/