Set against an appealingly sunny Sicilian backdrop, the film finds Simon Templar, an elegant thief and ethical busybody, outraged when a British banker is murdered after he recognizes an old colleague-turned-Mafia kingpin.
A Mafia boss is enraged when he is suspected of smuggling a heroin shipment into San Francisco. He dispatches his nephew, a hotshot Anglo-Sicilian lawyer, to identify the real culprit. The ... See full summary »
A successful London ad-exec hires a beautiful Hungarian girl to pose for some modeling shots, little realising that she has overheard an assassination plot and is now being hunted by some ... See full summary »
Rod Slater is the newly appointed general manager of the Sonderditch gold mine, but he stumbles across an ingenious plot to flood the mine, by drilling into an underground lake, so the ... See full summary »
During World War One a British aristocrat, an American entrepreneur and the latter's attractive young daughter, set out to destroy a German battle-cruiser which is awaiting repairs in an inlet just off Zanzibar.
A European arms dealer (Roger Moore) meets a liberated woman journalist (Susannah York), who is writing a story about the ridiculous things men do with the armaments during a NATO war games... See full summary »
Naturally, I was aware of Roger Moore having been Simon Templar aka The Saint (a character created, complete with instantly recognizable theme, by Leslie Charteris) before he was Agent 007 aka James Bond, but I’d never actually watched him in the role (other than catching bits and pieces from the TV series when it was broadcast on Italian TV or the Bravo Cable channel).
Anyway, a number of episodes from “The Saint” (the series began shooting in black-and-white, then switched to color) were compiled to make up two individual features (the other being VENDETTA FOR THE SAINT , which is to follow) and released to theaters. However, there was no mistaking the flat TV style (despite employing a veteran film-maker who had even worked in Hollywood), the full-frame ratio, or the studio-bound look (the big-budgeted James Bond adventures clearly could afford to be a great deal more elaborate); nevertheless, the cinematographer of this one – Michael Reed – went on to lens the very next 007 outing i.e. ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE (1969)!
The film, as a whole, emerges to be mildly enjoyable and serves up a fairly ingenious plot: Templar is mistaken for a popular pulp fiction novelist (actually a woman, played by Sylvia Syms) and kidnapped by a gang – hiding under the aliases of the criminal organization (complete with an H.Q. built to specifications) and characters ‘he’ had himself created – in order to plan a heist from an impregnable site! The leader of the villains is played by a flustered Kenneth J. Warren, who has fun with the role; his associates, then, include Nicholas Smith (later to be seen in the ARE YOU BEING SERVED? comic TV series!) and the engaging Justine Lord (who would prove a memorable femme fatale, literally “The Girl Who Was Death”, in the episode of that name from what was possibly the cult TV series of the era i.e. THE PRISONER).
As I said, the film suffers most from its ultra-modest budget – allowing for thrills and action highlights which, while not disagreeable in themselves, are decidedly bland and predictable, especially when stacked alongside what was being delivered in similar vein on the big screen…
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