As a promotion for the movie, on Tuesday, Syfy is showing all 26 episodes of the 1966 TV series with Van Williams and Bruce Lee from 10 AM to 11 PM. I never seen any of them, just the Batman  guest appearances. I wonder if they're included? I'm going to tape some of it. Anyone else?

BTW, did you know that the original Green Hornet was the grand-nephew of the Lone Ranger and the inspiration for DC's Crimson Avenger and the Sandman?

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Thank you for the gracious words, friend. I try to give the sort of reviews I would want to read, more than just the nuts and bolts of the show, but the things that made it work---or not work.


Eric L. Sofer said:

Good lord, that Bruce Lee was beautiful!  Not necessarily physically attractive, but watching him fight - even choreographed fighting - was like a symphony for the eyes!  Just watching him walk across the room made me think of him moving in slow motion, no action wasted... one of the great reasons to watch Green Hornet, and the producers and Van Williams sure seemed to know it.


Oh, ye gods, yes. That was one of the things about The Green Hornet that stood out to me then and now. There was a cat-like grace and agility even in Lee's routine movements. And there was something else, something a sharp-eyed viewer would notice only in the fight scenes.

Usually, the Green Hornet and Kato were outnumbered two-to-one or greater when the bell rang, and after the initial flurry of punches, the battle would separate into the Hornet versus his opponents and in another part of the room, Kato squaring off against the other sub-set of goons. (Actually, Kato probably could have taken the whole lot of them out without even breathing hard, but the Hornet had to have something to do.)

When the fight sequence breaks up into individual scenes like that, watch closely. In the Hornet's scenes, they are choreographed in the standard way cinema fights were at the time. And the Hornet's fights, taken alone, look suitably rough and tumble and dramatic.

But the direction would shift back and forth between the Hornet and Kato, and that's what really conveyed the incredible speed that Bruce Lee possessed. After seeing Kato in action, when the camera shifted back to the Hornet duking it out with his foes, the Hornet's moves looked slow and ponderous. They weren't---like I said, it was standard cinema action---but in comparison to how swiftly Bruce Lee moved, it made the Hornet seem like he was punching underwater.



Eric L. Sofer said:

Oh, and while the later episodes were undoubtedly superior to the initial ones . . . you can probably skip "Invasion from Outer Space."  Good villain concept done only adequately, female cheesecake thrown in . . . I dunno, for female cheesecake value . . . Britt Reid having a TV camera live feed in his den?  At least, one would think it would be be in . . . say . . . a TV studio.  I know, I know, another set means another scene, and costs more money.  Still . . . it wasn't so hot.


I've done a lot of boning up recently on the Green Hornet television show, from both hard-copy and on-line sources, and virtually all the commentary makes reference to how dissonate the two-part "Invasion from Outer Space" episode is from the rest of the series. And they attribute that to the fact a new producer---E. Darrell Hallenbeck---was in charge of that two-parter. Richard Bluel had been the producer for every other episode.

The "feel" of "Invasion from Outer Space" wasn't quite like the rest of the series. It was certainly a noticeable step away from the realism that William Dozier had wanted for the show. I'm not sure if that was just a natural consequence of Hallenbeck in the big chair, or if it was a new direction for the show to stave off its imminent cancellation.
Not about the TV show but…

The father of the last girl I dated before I got married was a collector of… stuff. Not necessarily comics books, but of sundry collectibles which I assume (I never met him) he thought he could turn a buck on. When he died, there were certain items of his she didn’t want to sell but rather to give away. She gave me a hardcover collection of the Now Comics Green Hornet series. I was touched because I knew she needed money for funeral expenses. (I refused at first but she insisted.) Although I deeply appreciated the gift, I haven’t yet read it. I think I will this weekend.

I heard a review of the new Green Hornet movie on the radio this morning and read one in the paper just now. Both were negative.


Jeff of Earth-J said:
I heard a review of the new Green Hornet movie on the radio this morning and read one in the paper just now. Both were negative.

Outside of the fact that a new Green Hornet movie is being/has been made, I know nothing about it. Absolutely nothing. But I can predict what at least one of the key themes is going to be . . . .

The fact that the Green Hornet had an Oriental houseboy/sidekick no doubt filled the sensitive PC types with a lot of harrumphing and a renewal of the sense of moral superiority that subsequent generations always seem to have about previous ones. The problem is the existence of Kato is too integral to the concept, so the producers couldn't just dispense with it.

So what they did was alter the relationship. Britt Reid/the Green Hornet will now be depicted as something of a light-thinker and a bumbler and it is Kato who will be the real brains and driving force behind the team. Kato will be depicted as simply letting the Green Hornet appear to be the man in charge. At some point, Reid will have an epiphany and then become more determined and will succeed despite his shortcomings and he will realise that he owes it all to Kato.

However, to keep things all light and airy, at the end, the Hornet will say something which still makes him look like a jerk.

Believe it or not, the Good Mrs. Benson wants to see this movie. First, Iron Man and now, The Green Hornet. Gee, I wonder if I've turned her into a closet comics fan?
A few years ago I was able to watch the entire Batman series, and I have to agree that the vast majority of the episodes were mediocre to poor. There were always some good moments, but the low budget and the tight shooting schedule really took a toll on the series.

Oh, and regarding the Green Hornet/Batman crossover, I can confirm that in the fight scenes including Bruce Lee, he was so fast and so precise that he made the other stuntmen and actors look as if they were standing still.
So far, The Green Hornet the movie has a 43% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (59 positive reviews and 78 negative reviews of 137 total).
And Metacritic has it at 38.
I've read a lot of criticism about the new Green Hornet: he's a slacker, the movie opens in January (not good) and the trick of how to portray Kato correctly and not overwhelm the actor with the immense shadow of Bruce Lee! Hopefully we will be able to give it a chance to succeed or fail on its actual merit, not the perceived ones. It's not going to be Batman Begins, Superman:The Movie or Spider-Man, so let it be The Green Hornet!

Another great post Commander, although I'd have to take issue with your "knee-jerk PC reaction" point.

 

It's perfectly reasonable to criticise previous generations for giving ethnic minorities roles like 'HouseBOY' even though they are grown men. 

 

Perhaps there were white characters that had such condescending job titles, but I can't think of any.  Saying that everyone had these attitudes doesn't wash either.  I have the feeling that had Green Hornet, for instance, been made by Asians or Asian-Americans, then the relationship between the two leads would have been framed differently.  I'm sure people on the recieiving end of these societal attitudes knew offensive when they saw it, even though they lived in the same era.  How did Bruce Lee feel about playing a 'Houseboy', I wonder? So perhaps it's better to say some people - people with clout in the industry in this case - didn't  know any better, or care to know any better.

 

Saying there was a profusion of good roles for ethnic minorities in 60's TV is probably overstating it too, although they were making a good enough start.

Another point is that, then or now, you seldom see a rich minority with a white servant. Even I Spy originally had Bill Cosby's character in the sidekick role. Times were changing but it happened slowly even with the Civil Rights movement.


Figserello said:

Another great post Commander . . . .


Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it.



Figserello said:
. . . although I'd have to take issue with your "knee-jerk PC reaction" point.

 


I stand by my statement, sir.


Commander Benson said:
. . . . the sense of moral superiority that subsequent generations always seem to have about previous ones.

I stand by that one, too.

I only know the Green Hornet from a UK Sixties Christmas annual, and the Batman telly show.  Didn't like the film, though.

 

I reviewed it for my mate Amber's website, Eye For Film

Over the weekend I pulled up a Green Hornet episode guide online. The first thing I noticed was that the first episode shown on SyFy last week, The Ray is for Killing, was actually the ninth one broadcast. I don’t know if broadcast order represents production order or not, but from what I’ve observed so far (seven episodes in), it really doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference so far. We observed last week that the “first” episode shown by SyFy didn’t have much of an origin; neither did the first episode broadcast (“The Silent Gun”). Episodes two through six were then shown in roughly reverse order, but late in the day of the marathon broadcast, not early on. I did notice in one of the episodes I’ve seen so far that the Green Hornet wore a different style mask, one with “expression lines.” I hope that one didn’t last long.

When I was very young, I don’t think I realized just how campy syndicated re-runs of the Batman TV show were. I didn’t think they were deadly serious, but I didn’t think of it as having any adult appeal, either; I thought of it simply as a kids’ show. It wasn’t until decades later when I saw the show as an adult (and was aware, by that time, of the “Bat-mania” it spawned) that I was able to enjoy it on an entirely different level. I couldn’t believe how corny it was, but I was able to appreciate the camp, too. Watching the Green Hornet TV show for the first time today reminds me of how I perceived the Batman TV show when I was a kid.

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