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The Green Hornet (1940)

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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 297 users  
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A newspaper publisher and his Korean servant fight crime as vigilantes who pose as a notorious masked gangster and his aide.




(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gordon Jones ...
Wade Boteler ...
Anne Nagel ...
Phillip Trent ...
Jasper Jenks
Cy Kendall ...
Curtis Monroe
Stanley Andrews ...
Police Commissioner [Chs. 1, 5, 8, 9, 13]
Selmer Jackson ...
District Attorney [Chs. 4, 10]
Joseph Crehan ...
Judge Stanton [Chs. 1, 9, 10, 13]
Walter McGrail ...
John Kelly ...
Pete Hawks
Eddie Dunn ...
D.H. Sligby [Ch. 7]
Edward Earle ...
Felix Grant [Ch. 1]
Ben Taggart ...
Phil Bartlett [Chs. 3-4]


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. Written by Jeremy Lunt <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Radio Drama More Vivid On Screen! (original poster)


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El avispón verde  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(13 episodes) | (movie)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Chinese-born Keye Luke did a Japanese accent for his role as Kato. See more »


Britt Reid: You're a rotten shot, Michael!
Michael Axford: Ah, 'tis this reconditioned ammunition I'm usin'.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening Credits include ropes, daggers, automatic pistol, blackjacks and airplanes. See more »


Version of The Green Hornet (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Corrections to Leslie Howard Adams
12 January 2006 | by (Buffalo, TX, USA) – See all my reviews

This is not so much a user comment but corrections to Leslie Howard Adams's commentary, as they do need to be made.

1): "John Reid...became The Lone Ranger. Dang right The Lone Ranger had a name." As long as George Trendle and Fran Striker were in control, first names for the Lone Ranger and his ill-fated brother were never given (they sold that property to Jack Wrather in 1955). In the 1960s, both a "Houston Chronicle" (TX) newspaper obituary for Striker and a Gold Key comics adaptation of the origin called THE SURVIVING BROTHER Dan. "John" and "Dan," as are now so familiar--and I therefore do not fault Mr. Adams significantly for accepting them--do not appear to predate the 1970s, perhaps beginning in the awful 1981 big-budget movie version.

2): "One of the great non-true urban myths has it that Kato was introduced on the program as Japanese, and had to change his country-of-origin in 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Not so. Kato was Filipino from day one in 1936 on the radio program....Surprised that somebody hasn't posted that myth on the IMDb site, somewhere." It is an incontestable fact that Kato WAS initially described as Japanese on the radio show, as I have audio recordings of early episodes to prove it. What IS widely believed but untrue is the part that has the change being made as of Monday December 8, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor. Jim Harmon in his book, "The Great Radio Heroes" (Doubleday, 1967, p.223--and I have photocopies of the pages of the entire Green Hornet chapter right in front of me) wrote, "It's a good story that Kato became Filipino the day after Pearl Harbor. Even some of the people on the show tell it. It isn't true, however. Kato was described as being a Filipino of Japanese ancestry as far back as 1940." This has apparently been misconstrued by many as saying he was NEVER indicated to be Japanese. These people presumably had it related to them second-hand as it is simply not open to that misinterpretation; Harmon is saying nothing about the character's status prior to 1940. The odd result is that one urban legend has been replaced, at least in some minds, by another. I repeat, my audio recordings prove conclusively that early on, Kato was said to be a Japanese (Harmon's intent, incidentally, seems to have been to suggest that the change was made by increments, first adding Filipino to the already existing Japanese, then SUBSEQUENTLY dropping the public-relations-wise problematical original; however, none of my original episode recordings give this dual ethnicity, just one, the other, or nothing more specific than "Oriental" if even that). For Mr.Adams's information, this so-called urban legend HAS been on this title's "Trivia" page for some time, and I recently modified it to remove the "Pearl Harbor" myth-information and add the note that this serial got there first in 1939--note the opening credits' copyright notice--and made him "a Korean."

If Mr. Adams wants to dispute any of this, I invite him to start a thread on this title's message boards, as THIS is not the appropriate venue, but his comments needed to be addressed where they were made.

I update to make an admission: Filipino was indeed said at least a few times in 1940 (and presumably consistently from then on), although these were just passing references in dialogue, not as part the standard opening, where it appears to have been very rarely heard (for whatever that distinction might be worth, if anything). In the only episode recording I have in which this occurs, it is clearly not the intro originally heard on the episode: It also says "...public enemies who try and destroy our America," even though this change--from "...even the G-Men cannot reach," at FBI objection--had yet to be introduced; the intro is read by a different announcer/narrator than the one heard throughout the remainder of the episode, further corroborating the switch. Just to make the information here completely accurate (I am as ready to correct myself as I am anyone else).

7 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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