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The Saint in New York (1938)

 -  Crime | Drama | Mystery  -  3 June 1938 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 495 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 6 critic

Simon Templar, the Saint, is brought to New York. His search for the identity of "the Big Fellow" takes him through many dangerous situations.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Kay Sutton ...
Fay Edwards
Sig Ruman ...
Hutch Rellin (as Sig Rumann)
Jonathan Hale ...
...
Red Jenks
Paul Guilfoyle ...
Hymie Fanro
Frederick Burton ...
William Valcross
Ben Welden ...
Boots Papinoff
Charles Halton ...
Vincent Nather
Cliff Bragdon ...
Sebastian Lipke
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Storyline

Simon Templar, the Saint, is brought to New York. His search for the identity of "the Big Fellow" takes him through many dangerous situations. Written by SM <smortens@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Man whose Daring Deeds made daily Headlines in His One Man War on Crime! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 June 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Helgonet i New York  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The kidnapped child is Viola Throckmorton. In the novel, her name was Viola Inselheim, daughter of a prominent Jewish businessman. This is one of several alterations of ethnicity in the film adaptation. "Dutch," a gangster, becomes "Hutch" in the film. See more »

Goofs

Templar speaks the cabby's phone number, then dials it. It's Columbus 5-1098; on a rotary dial phone, 0, 9 and 8 are all full or nearly full turns of the dial, but when he dials it, it's all small turns until the last digit. See more »

Quotes

Simon Templar, aka The Saint: [flags down cab which brakes hard. Leans in] I smell burning rubber.
Sebastian Lipke, Taxi Driver: Best brakes in town, Boss, where to?
Simon Templar, aka The Saint: [Gets in] 49th, near 8th.
[reads taxi license on back of seat]
Simon Templar, aka The Saint: Just forget about those lights, Sebastian.
Sebastian Lipke, Taxi Driver: [looks back] Say, I know you!
Simon Templar, aka The Saint: Why shouldn't you? My life's an open book.
Sebastian Lipke, Taxi Driver: [looks back again] Why, you're the Saint! I seen your picture in tonight's paper!
Simon Templar, aka The Saint: Terrible picture. Made me look like Tarzan.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Saint's Vacation (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

A dark and enjoyable start to the Saint films with a really good presence in Hayward
13 February 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

With crime rife in New York due to gangs and a small group of men in particular, Inspector Fernack makes the decision to bring in Simon Templar aka "The Saint" to help. The Saint is known as someone able to bring down criminal organisations but has gained notoriety due to the criminal methods he uses to do so. Dispatching one of the men with a clinical kill very early on, Templar quickly uncovers the existence of a character known as the "Big Fellow" – clearly a top man behind the gangs. Moving steadily into more and more danger he tries to reach and remove the Big Fellow to cut the head off the snake.

I'm not sure why this film was apparently banned in Sweden on its release but I would hazard a guess that it had something to do with the marvellous anti-hero qualities that Templar is given in this film. The plot could have been straight out of any crime b-movie as it essentially involves bringing "justice" to New York by taking down a major crime syndicate; however in many other films from the 1930's the hero would have been a cop trying to get a conviction and, if he killed anyone it would have been by necessity rather than choice. However with this film we have a character who kills by choice and is as much a killer as he is a bringer of justice. This dark edge makes the film more interesting than the standard plot suggests it should be and I was quite taken in by it even if the quest for the "Big Fellow" wasn't really delivered with any tension or mystery (which was a bit of a shame, although it did enough to keep me guessing and watching).

The real feather in the cap is Louis Hayward who plays it with the perfect mix of the suave and the psychotic. He is convincing as a bit of a smooth character but, more importantly, he convinced me as a cold-blooded killer and I enjoyed the dark feel he brought to the film. Outside of his though the performances are either just OK or wooden but nothing better; they more or less do the job but I could help feel that Hayward deserved more than the very basic caricatures of cops and criminals.

Overall though this is a tough and enjoyable b-movie that features an enjoyably dark anti-hero. Later films in the series (well, the next one in fact) would quickly lose touch with this dark, cruel character and tone it down to be nonexistent but here it is in full effect and it makes a standard (if engaging) plot much better than it deserved to be.


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