|The Green Archer
|James W. Horne
(as Morgan B. Cox)
(as Jesse D. Duffy
James W. Horne
|The Green Archer
by Edgar Wallace
|James S. Brown Jr.
The Green Archer is the 12th serial released by Columbia Pictures. It was based on Edgar Wallace's 1923 novel The Green Archer, which had previously been adapted into the silent serial of the same name in 1925 by Pathé Exchange.
The struggle over the Bellamy estate ends with Michael Bellamy accused of murder and killed on the way to prison, while his brother, Abel Bellamy, takes control of the estate for his own nefarious plans. Bellamy is using Garr Castle as a base for his jewelry-theft ring, and he kidnaps his brother's wife to keep things quiet. Insurance investigator Spike Holland enters the case, and Bellamy continually dispatches his resident gang to do away with him. Detective Thompson, representing the law, is seldom of any help. Meanwhile, the estate's fabled "Green Archer", a masked, leotard-clad marksman, steals silently through Garr Castle and the estate grounds, confounding the enemy forces.
This serial is an example of a fifteen-episode production that could have been rented for a twelve-episode run, as three episodes use an entirely self-contained subplot concerning the theft of a synthetic radium formula.
The script was written by Morgan B. Cox, John Cutting, and Jesse A. Duffy. Director James W. Horne also contributed to the script, which often emphasizes tongue-in-cheek comedy. Under Horne's direction, the heroes and villains exaggerate the melodrama — James Craven is enjoyably florid as the villain, and his henchmen also play for laughs, with comedian Fred Kelsey cast as a very dumb detective. In one scene some of the crooks are shown playing tiddlywinks.
The serial was released in the US on October 1, 1940, and in Latin America in March 1941 under the title El Arquero Verde (in English with Spanish subtitles). The Green Archer was one of 1940's best remembered serials.