The Green Hornet

The Green Hornet is a masked fictional crime fighter. Originally created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker for an American radio program in the 1930s, the character has appeared in other media as well, including two film serials in the 1940s, a network television program in the 1960s, and multiple comic book series from the 1940s to the 1990s. The Green Hornet is Britt Reid, a newspaper publisher by day who by night goes out in his masked "Green Hornet" identity to fight crime as a vigilante, accompanied by his similarly masked Asian manservant Kato and driving a car, equipped with advanced technology, called "Black Beauty". The Green Hornet is often portrayed as a fair-to-above average hand-to-hand combatant and is often armed with a gun that sprays knock-out gas (an electric stun weapon called the "hornet's sting" was added to his arsenal in the TV series). 

One relatively minor aspect of the character is his blood relationship to The Lone Ranger, another character created by Fran Striker. The Lone Ranger's nephew was Dan Reid. In the Green Hornet radio shows, the Hornet's father was likewise named Dan Reid, making the hero the Ranger's grand-nephew.

 

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The Green Hornet (1940) - Gordon Jones - Universal Movie 13-Episode Serial

The Green Hornet (1940) is a Universal movie 13-episode serial based on the The Green Hornet radio series by George W. Trendle and written by Fran Striker.   The Green Hornet (Gordon Jones), secretly newspaper publisher Britt Reid, and his Korean valet Kato (Key Luke) stop and expose several seemingly separate crimes. This leads them into continued conflict with The Leader, the criminal mastermind behind The Syndicate and the individual crimes.

Faced with rising crime and increased racketeering activity, intrepid newspaper editor Britt Reid becomes the crime fighter the Green Hornet. Donning a disguise, the Hornet and his brilliant Korean inventor/sidekick Kato fight an infamous racket that's menacing their city.

In 1939, when the Green Hornet was at his peak of radio popularity, Universal released a film version of his exploits, in serial form. This chapter play closely reflected its popular, if implausible, airwaves counterpart. The movie serial used the same principal characters, as well as the much-talked-about Hornet musical signature and gadgetry (from gas gun to buzzing super car). Transferred too was the familiar voice of Al Hodge, the radio Green Hornet, which was heard when crusading publisher Britt Reid spoke from behind the Hornet mask. The movie serial even resembled the radio one by having Reid and Kato take on one racket at a time, with only the thinnest unifying link in the form of an overall racket boss.  To play Britt Reid, Universal hired Gordon Jones, a husky actor generally assigned to roles bordering on buffoonery, but nonetheless quite effective as a fighting journalist doubling as a masked avenger.

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The Green Hornet Strikes Again!  (1941) – 15 Episode Serial – Warren Hull:


A sequel to The Green Hornet, The Green Hornet Strikes Again is a 15-chapter serial that was based upon characters from the popular radio and pulp series. The Green Hornet (Warren Hull) is actually Britt Reid, fearless newspaper publisher, who dons the Hornet's guise to battle criminals that have managed to escape the long arm of the law -- aided, of course, by his invaluable sidekick, Kato (Keye Luke). As Green Hornet Strikes Again opens, Reid and Kato are enjoying a well-earned vacation in Hawaii. Their respite is short-lived, however, as they discover that master criminal Crogan (Pierre Watkin) has ratcheted up his operations and is starting a whole new series of rackets that require the Hornet's attention. 

 It was released in late September, 1940, less than a year after the debut of the first Green Hornet Serial. Although three of the principal actors continued in their roles, Universal, instead of calling on Gordon Jones to play the lead again, gave the part to Warren Hull, one of Columbia's serial heroes, associated particularly with the Spider. ==========================================================
The Green Hornet (1974) - Van Williams &  Bruce Lee - Several episodes of the 1966 TV series "The Green Hornet" edited together and released as a feature.
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