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The Saint Strikes Back (1939)

Passed  -  Crime | Drama | Mystery  -  10 March 1939 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 541 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 14 critic

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

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(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Saint Strikes Back (1939)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Wendy Barrie ...
Jonathan Hale ...
Jerome Cowan ...
Cullis
...
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
Edit

Storyline

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Saint Strikes Twice  »

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

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 »

Quotes

Cullis: [Referring to Simon] That fellow is notorious. You can't be serious.
Police Commisioner: He proved his worth in New York. Gentlemen, sometimes where there's gangrene, a red-hot iron is the best cure.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(uncredited)
Music traditional
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Played at the New Year's Eve party
See more »

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User Reviews

A nice entry in the series but already the tough edge of the original is softened
13 February 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When Simon Templar (aka The Saint) helps self-styled crime boss and daughter of a disgraced cop Val Travers to get away from a nightclub after they were both involved in a shooting. The police connect Templar to the shooting and call in Inspector Fernack from New York to bring him in. Meanwhile Templar gets on the wrong side of Travers and earns her vengeance while also trying to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding her father's fall from grace at the hands of an internal investigation.

Following on from the hard edge and anti-hero approach of The Saint when he was in New York, this film cannot help but feel like much more of a sedentary affair with a more liberal approach perhaps befitting the San Francisco setting. That said the film still has a nice feel to it that makes it just a shade better than the b-movie series generally achieved from this point onwards. Much of the credit should probably lie with Farrow's direction because he does give it quite a professional and gritty atmosphere. The story is quite good although not anywhere near as engaging as it should have been and I must admit that at times I drifted away as it lacked a consistent hook to keep me watching.

Coming in to replace Hayward, Sanders was never really going to do it for me as I already knew him to be all about the smoothness and the suaveness and it didn't surprised me when his criminal edge was played down to almost nothing and he turned in the sort of performance that made him vastly inferior to the original Saint (in my mind anyway). Support is pretty good from Val Travers – not quite a femme fatale perhaps but certainly a tough woman when required. Hale is OK while people like Elliot, Fitzgerald etc all fill in around the edges.

Overall a well-directed film that is a reasonable stab at continuing the series but, for reasons that are perhaps obvious, scaling down the mean edge the original had. Problem is that I liked this about the original film and found this film lacking teeth for being smooth without the savage. Sanders is a nice lead but he cannot lift the material and the end result is a standard b-movie that will please fans of The Saint and The Falcon.


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