The Green Hornet (1940)

Approved   |    |  Adventure, Crime, Drama


The Green Hornet (1940) Poster

A newspaper publisher and his Korean servant fight crime as vigilantes who pose as a notorious masked gangster and his aide.


6.8/10
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5 December 2008 | bkoganbing
4
| Smashing The Rackets, Superhero Style
Through thirteen chapters in this serial The Green Hornet manages to discover and eliminate a number of various criminal enterprises that are plaguing his city. Playing The Green Hornet in this version is a younger and leaner Gordon Jones who was best known for being Mike the Cop on the Abbott and Costello show. Keye Luke plays his sidekick and chauffeur Kato who because of the impending war was changed from Japanese to Korean for this serial.

Not that this serial is all that much better though it is a cut above most of them, but one of the things that struck me was that each chapter stood more on its own than you would normally have. The premise here is that the various rackets are controlled by a city syndicate of twelve and the Green Hornet as himself and in his real identity of Britt Reid, millionaire publisher of a crusading newspaper the Sentinel, systematically exposes each racket in each chapter and eliminates the head through death or imprisonment.

The obvious comparison is to Batman, but The Green Hornet relies a whole lot less on gadgetry than most superheroes. His car, 'the Black Beauty' is really a souped up hotrod, nothing unique about it in any other way. He's not got the variety of gadgets that Batman or most of his other peers seem to have.

He even has a gas gun that shoots small gas pellets and when they hit the target they merely disable. Fran Striker who created The Green Hornet also created the Lone Ranger and the Ranger's creed was always to shoot to wound. Modern technology has given the Green Hornet a weapon that will do nothing else. In fact The Green Hornet is the grand nephew of The Lone Ranger.

A cut above maybe, but The Green Hornet is as dated as all those other serials that the Saturday afternoon kids used to enjoy.

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