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The Saint (1997)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Romance  |  4 April 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 49,694 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 185 user | 59 critic | 22 from

Simon Templar has no real family, no real home and Simon Templar isn't even his real name. Yet Simon Templar , also known as the Saint for his use of creating false identities using the ... See full summary »



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Title: The Saint (1997)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Valeriy Nikolaev ...
Ilya Tretiak (as Valery Nikolaev)
Dr. Lev Botvin
Vereshagin, Tretiak's Aide
President Karpov (as Evgeny Lazarev)
Irina Apeksimova ...
Frankie (as Irina Apeximova)
Lev Prygunov ...
General Sklarov (as Lev Prigunov)
Charlotte Cornwell ...
Inspector Rabineau
Woman on Plane
Lucija Serbedzija ...
Russian Prostitute


Simon Templar has no real family, no real home and Simon Templar isn't even his real name. Yet Simon Templar , also known as the Saint for his use of creating false identities using the names of Catholic saints,is one of the world's most successful thieves. Slick, debonair and a master of disguise, Simon manages to outwit the police again and again. On his next job Simon is hired by the Russian Mafia to steal a cold fusion energy formula from scientist Emma Russel, however the mission backfires as he falls for the pretty, intelligent scientist. Simon and his new love must now manage to outwit the Russian Mafia and work out the energy formula before the worst happens and the US is affected forever. Written by LadyN1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Who is The Saint See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for action violence, brief strong language, some sensuality and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

4 April 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El Santo  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$68,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$16,278,873 (USA) (4 April 1997)


$61,355,436 (USA) (25 July 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the original version of the film, Dr. Russell collapses while giving a lecture and dies in The Saint's arms. The Saint sees Tretiak, Jr. stabbing her in the leg with the tip of his cane. Thus the final half-hour has him set to destroy the villains' plans and avenge her death. With Dr. Botvin's help, he switches the formulas around and humiliates Tretiak during his show trial of the Russian president. The Saint battles Dr. Russell's killer on a stairwell as Russian tanks pound outside, exposing and setting fire to the vast stockpile of heating oil in the basement. With the stairwell disintegrating around them, the fight spills out on to the chandelier, suspended above the blazing oil. The Saint teases Treatiak, Jr. with the disc containing the formula for cold fusion. As he reaches out for it, The Saint cuts the rope and Tretiak, Jr. plummets to a fiery death. Returning to Dr. Russell's home, the Saint finds a letter from her, a tear fills his eye and he vows from now on to use his skills only for good. Test audiences didn't like the way Dr. Russell died three-quarters of the way into the film. Footage from the original ending features prominently in the film's primary trailer. Director Phillip Noyce hopes one day to be able to restore the original version for a Director's Cut DVD. See more »


When Emma enters Simon's English country house she leaves the door wide open and continues into the room. In a subsequent shot, the door is closed. See more »


Simon Templar: Do you know what the worst part about being you is?
Ivan Tretiak: What.
Simon Templar: Pretending to be so bad in bed.
Ivan Tretiak: You son of the bitch!
See more »


Remake of The Saint (1962) See more »


Performed by Faina Zinova, Ludmila Borisova, Yurii Borisov and Mikhail Fiskovich
Produced by Graham Walker
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Val Kilmer's performance is incredible
16 October 2004 | by (Stockton, England) – See all my reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this film and not just because of Val Kilmer's accomplishment at successfully being eye-candy, but also because of the amazing personality transformations his character goes through in front of the mirror. The story line itself is pretty impressive and I loved that although it keeps you guessing, you don't end up wondering, "What the hell is going on?' The science side is played down enough for the audience to know it's there but not to get distracted by its details. I don't know if the theory actually works, but after watching the film I don't really care - that isn't the point of the movie.

The thing that surprised me the most though was the leading female scientist, played by Elisabeth Shue. It's obvious from the start that she's going to be the 'love interest' but her characters personality always puts a question to the question, will they actually end up together. She's shy and nervous of people, but is incredibly open, honest and warmly lovable - an almost perfect contrast to Kilmer's über-suave, identity-confused, international thief-for-hire/spy. But that's the very thing that makes them ideal for each other, they might just be able to help each other with their character flaws and so you root for them both on a rather grand scale.

I was vaguely baffled by the inclusion of random, suffering Russian civilians towards the latter half of the film, but considering that they were a film device to make the baddie look bad, the goodie look good and the 'common people trapped in the middle' look down right fantastic, they do their job rather well (apart from one woman who rats out our hero). All in all, they makes sure the audience are still caring if the common people are helped by the good guy, and hoping that the bad guy will eventually get his comeuppance.

However, back to my original point. I still think that the film's main achievement is putting Val Kilmer in an interesting role that shows off just how good he can be; he's observant, yet unobservable; seductive, yet not a cad; confident but riddled with insecurities. Moreover, in the early stages of the film, British students are no longer misrepresented as drunken, whoring lay-abouts, but as attentive learners who actually show up for lectures. Impressive stuff.

Yours Sincerely, A Proud British Student.

61 of 77 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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