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.
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. ==========================================================
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