The Saint Strikes Back (1939)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  10 March 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 567 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 14 critic

Simon Templar, the Saint, travels to San Francisco to solve crime mysteries within the police department.



(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Airs Fri. Dec. 04, 4:45 AM on TCM


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Complete credited cast:
Jonathan Hale ...
Jerome Cowan ...
Zipper Dyson
Allan Breck
Robert Elliott ...
Chief Inspector Webster
Russell Hopton ...
Harry Donnell
Edward Gargan ...
Pinky Budd
Robert Strange ...
Police Commisioner
Gilbert Emery ...
Martin Eastman
James Burke ...
Headquarters Police Officer
Mrs. Betty Fernack


A disgraced policeman's daughter in San Francisco is busy acquiring a name for herself as a crime boss in her own right. But when Simon Templar helps her get away after a shooting in a night-club and subsequently chooses to bring down his old acquaintance Inspector Fernack from New York, the question as to who is on which side of the law becomes increasingly confused -- especially when the vital evidence, in the shape of eighty thousand stolen dollars, spends most of the film in the Saint's pocket! Written by Igenlode Wordsmith

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

10 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Saint Strikes Twice  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the first of three appearances by Wendy Barrie in the five Saint films of George Sanders. She plays a different character in each. See more »


Allan Breck: [after Simon kisses Val and is slapped by her] Mr. Templar!
Simon Templar, aka 'The Saint': [to Val] I'm very sorry but under certain circumstances I simply can't resist the temptation to be a cad.
[Referring to Breck]
Simon Templar, aka 'The Saint': I can see by this gentleman's manner that he's never kissed you but, uh, would like to.
Val Travers: Get out if here!
Simon Templar, aka 'The Saint': As you get to know me better, you'll realize that I have moments of almost maudlin sentimentality. Actually we're quite bit alike. You could never live without adventure, and neither could I.
See more »


Followed by The Saint in Palm Springs (1941) See more »


Comin' Thro' the Rye
Music traditional
Words by Robert Burns
Played and sung by the organ grinder
Sung by the organ grinder with modified lyrics
See more »

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User Reviews

George Sanders a stylish Saint
23 June 2012 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

Who is the Saint? "Well, not the man who knows everything, just the man who knows the important things."

George Sanders is the mysterious, charming and dangerous Simon Templar: "You're important to me—that's why I know you," he explains to an annoyed Wendy Barrie, whom he has just forcibly escorted from a nightclub—moments before the cops arrive to investigate a murder.

Sanders is perfect as the Saint: a droll wit, a cad, an underdog, a shrewd tactician who is not afraid to take a risk. And that Sanders voice!

Wendy Barrie is also fine as the hard-edged daughter of a policeman. Her father was framed by a fellow cop and died in disgrace; Barrie is out to exact some revenge for her father by stirring up trouble for the department. Sanders explains her plot nicely to the investigating officers: "She thinks he got a dirty deal from the police so she's enlisted a bunch of second rate crooks to annoy you."

The Saint is on the scene as one who always takes an interest in rooting out corruption; in this case, his sense of adventure and interest in justice have brought him all the way to San Francisco.

The supporting cast includes great character actors who all do their jobs: Jerome Cowan is a cop who's obviously mixed up in the dirty business somehow; Neil Hamilton is another detective; Barry Fitzgerald is "Zipper," a small time crook impressed with Sanders' style ("I never seen such a cop").

Jonathan Hale is again on hand as Inspector Fernack, the old pro who has had dealings with Templar in the past. His relationship with the Saint is of course complicated—one minute he is sticking up for Templar's motives and methods, not much later he is (momentarily) convinced that Templar is the mastermind behind the whole San Francisco setup.

Besides the great cast, this film features a strong script and is beautifully photographed—a very classy B mystery.

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