Archive for January 2011

The Green Hornet – Trouble Hits The Trolleys   Leave a comment

“He hunts the biggest of all game!  Public enemies that even the G Men cannot reach!”

One of the more unusual fictional crimefighters is the Green Hornet. The Green Hornet started as a radio series created by George W Trendle and Fran Striker, which ran from 1936 to 1952. The great-nephew of the Lone Ranger, the Green Hornet fights crime in the contemporary (for then) setting of an anonymous big city somewhere in America, which is troubled by the usual problems of organised crime and political corruption (plus Axis spies and saboteurs during the war years).

Although the character started out on radio, he has also appeared in various comics, two movie serials in the 40s, a TV series in the 60s, and a feature film which has just been released.

The Green Hornet’s civilian identity was Britt Reid, proprietor of the Daily Sentinel newspaper. The only living person who knew that he was also the Green Hornet was his oriental valet/chauffeur/henchman Kato. There were a lot of crime fighters on the radio and in pulp magazines in those days, it was a bit of a golden age for that kind of character, but the Green Hornet’s modus operandi was a bit out of the ordinary. Instead of going toe to toe with criminals and fighting them directly, he let the local police and general public think that he himself was a criminal. Having this reputation enabled him to gain the trust of the real crooks and thereby entrap them, enabling the local police to arrest and prosecute them while the Green Hornet “got away in the nick of time”. Gadgets and gimmicks were limited, at least in the original radio series. The Green Hornet was armed with a gas gun which could knock people out without harming them and he and Kato had a souped-up car called the Black Beauty. His main weapons were his devious mind and intimidating manner – plus a good pair of fists if he was backed into a corner.

If you’d like to listen to an early episode of this classic, click hear to download an MP3 of “Trouble Hits The Trolleys”, starring Al Hodge as The Green Hornet. First broadcast on 27 February 1936, this episode concerns corruption in local government and a crooked businessman’s attempt to win the franchise to run a bus service by sabotaging his rival’s business.

“Ride with Brit Reid as he races toward another thrilling adventure! The Green Hornet strikes again!”