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The Green Archer

USA 1940
produced by
Larry Darmour for Columbia
directed by James W. Horne
starring Victor Jory, Iris Meredith, James Craven, Robert Fiske, Dorothy Fay, Forrest Taylor, Jack Ingram, Joseph W.Girard, Fred Kelsey, Kit Guard, Jack Cheatham, Edmund Cobb, Kerman Cripps, Kenne Duncan, Herbert Evans, Franklyn Farnum, Al Ferguson, Eddie Fetherston, Chuck Hamilton, Harry Harvey, Lloyd Ingraham, Warren Jackson, J.Paul Jones, Johnny Kascier, Charles King, Tom London, Mary MacLaren, Bud Osborne, Constantine Romanoff, Cy Schindell, Harry Tenbrook, Anthony Warde, Duke York, Bert Young, Charles Dorety, Edward Hearn, Sam Lufkin, Bruce Mitchell, Dick Rush
screenplay by Morgan Cox, John Cutting, Jesse Duffy, James W.Horne, based on the novel by Edgar Wallace, music by Lee Zahler


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Abel Bellamy (James Craven) has seen to it that his brother Michael (Kenne Duncan) is convicted of a murder that he didn't commit and then dies when a prison transport crashes, just so he can get his hands on the family mansion and make it the headquarters for his criminal organisation. Playing the griefing relative, he invites Michael's wife Elaine (Dorothy Fay) to stay with him, but once she's inside his mansion he makes her his prisoner.

Elaine's sister Valerie (Iris Meredith) and her father Parker (Forrest Taylor) soon start looking for her, and so does his best friend Spike Holland (Victor Jory), insurance detective, and soon they join forces. What follows are several attempts by Spike to break into and find out the secrets of the mansion (which is riddled with secret passageways), several deathtraps Bellamy sets for Spike and Valerie and her dead, several appearances of the legendary yet mysterious Green Archer, who always comes to the aide of Spike and company, a second Green Archer (Jack Ingram) set up by Bellamy to get rid of Spike and company, and of course your usual chases, shootouts, explosions and fistfights.

In the finale, the fortunes turn abainst Bellamy though, when his partner in crime Savini (Robert Fiske) decides to jump ship and hand all the evidence against his partner over to Valerie in exchange for his freedom. Savini is killed though, and Bellamy manages to turn the situation to his favour and lure Spike, Valerie and her father into a deathtrap - when once more the Green Archer shows up, reveals himself to be Bellamy's own thought-dead brother Michael, and forces him to set free Spike and the others, just before the police arrives to arrest everyone.

In the end, to noone's real surprise, Spike gets the girl - Valerie of course.


This Edgar Wallace adaptation of course has very little to do with its source novel as it follows more closely the by 1940 well-established serial formula than that of your typical murder mystery. That said though, as a serial, The Green Archer isn't at all bad, it's actually among the best chapterplays Columbia has produced ever. Thsi is thanks to a very stringent screenplay in which the action never lets up, a touch of irony that keeps the whole thing from taking itself too seriously, comic interludes that never really interrupt the narrative flow but are part of the story, and a colourful cast of supporting actors.

Recommended to all serial-lovers.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD