Friday, September 24, 2010

Video Fridays: THE GREEN HORNET in "Programmed for Death"

Continuing our weekly feature "Video Fridays"...
Frank Miller tries to kill The Green Hornet!
No, not THE Frank Miller, writer-artist of 300, Daredevil, Dark Knight Returns, and other comic classics!
This guy was a criminally-oriented gemologist who tried to freeze the Hornet in today's episode "Programmed for Death", the third show aired on ABC in 1966, but the first episode filmed.

There's a number of differences between what you'll see here and our previous two posts.
It's slower-paced since it had to introduce the various elements of the show to an audience unfamiliar with the character.
The last Green Hornet radio show was 14 years earlier, and an entire generation had grown up with no idea as to who he was!
Unlike Batman, there were no ongoing Green Hornet comic books or licensed products during this period, except a couple of lp record albums of radio shows, which, ironically, were released along with The Shadow, the Lone Ranger, and others due to the success of the Batman tv series!
The heroes have different masks (see photo) that actually work better to hide their identities, but obstructed peripheral vision. After this episode, molds were taken of their faces and new, form-fitting masks were created and used for the remainder of the show's run.
Note that Kato does all the hand-to-hand fighting in this episode.

While the 60s tv series is not yet available on official dvd, it is available on YouTube.
Here's the THIRD broadcast episode "Programmed for Death" in three segments.

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