Columbia's 12th serial of 57 total (following 1940's "Deadwood Dick" and ahead of 1941's "White Eagle") is another of director's James Horne's "classics" where he evidently figured that the... See full summary »
Columbia's 12th serial of 57 total (following 1940's "Deadwood Dick" and ahead of 1941's "White Eagle") is another of director's James Horne's "classics" where he evidently figured that the same reactions that served him well in Laurel and Hardy films would work well in action serials where he has all hands, heroes and villains alike, doing some kind of over-the top "take", no matter the situation. This loose adaptation of an Edgar Wallace story finds Michael Bellamy (Kenne Duncan in his Kenneth Duncan period) inheriting Garr Castle, but his brother, Abel Bellamy (James Craven, as usual making Oil-Can Harry look smooth), has him imprisoned unjustly and moves into the castle himself. When Michael's wife, Elaine Bellamy (Dorothy Fay), fails to return after visiting Abel, her sister Valerie Howett (Iris Meredith), accompanied by their father, Parker Howett (Forrest Taylor) and private detective Spike Holland (Victor Jory, who even when playing the lead hero gets a villain's name), rent ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Watching episodes of "The Green Archer" took me back some 70 years to the Yorktown Theater which had perhaps the most massive screen of Manhattan's neighborhood houses, where you were engulfed in the action and every close-up literally loomed over you. A Saturday matinée at the Yorktown invariably included a double feature, newsreel, cartoon, comedy short, trailers and the latest installment of a fifteen chapter serial (mostly from Columbia or Republic.) All for 12 cents and sometimes they threw in a free comic book. "The Green Archer" was among the better serials, largely because a genuinely talented actor, Victor Jory, had the lead. And he had just emerged from a screen career largely devoted to skullduggery to cloud mens' minds as "The Shadow" in another Columbia 15-parter. How does "The Green Archer" hold up? The most fun is still watching the hero emerge unscathed from the seemingly hopeless mess he was in at the end of the previous chapter, trapped in a warehouse explosion, driving his roadster off a cliff to crash in flames or stretched out under a ceiling of descending spikes. And there was some pretty good scenery chewing going on from grade B actors like James Craven as evil Abel Bellamy, running a ring of dim-witted jewel thieves out of an ancestral castle with more secret passages than a Poe manse. Only drawback to getting "Green Archer" from Netflix was watching several episodes in a clump --rather than week to week as intended -- which tended to make the bald spots in the plotting sorta' obvious.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?