The Green Hornet was created specifically for radio by producer George Trendle and director James Jewell. The first episode aired January 31, 1936. The series proved so popular its run lasted sixteen years, with its final episode airing in 1952. The 1940s saw two movie serials featuring the Green Hornet and his staunch ally Kato (The Green Hornet–1940, and The Green Hornet Strikes Again!–1941), which only served to heighten the popularity of the radio show. Several attempts at Green Hornet movies have been made (most recently in 2011) but none have proved as successful as the radio show (this includes the short-lived Green Hornet TV show from the 1970s, which nevertheless catapulted Bruce Lee to stardom in his role as Kato).
The Green Hornet’s real identity is Britt Reid, publisher of the Daily Sentinel. During a visit to the Far East, Reid saved Kato’s life. Kato now links his fortune to that of Reid as a faithful companion, driver of the Black Beauty (forerunner of the Batmobile), and all-around aide-de-camp.
In celebration of Memorial Day we have chosen the Green Hornet episode “Invasion Plans for Victory,” which aired on May 16, 1942. The Green Hornet infiltrates a band of German saboteurs planning to turn over secret plans for an American invasion of Germany. If his plan fails, the Green Hornet will be executed for murder. It proves to be a tension-filled drama as the Hornet is willing to put his life on the line to save America from German spies.
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