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The Saint Strikes Back (1939)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 10 March 1939 (USA)
Simon Templar, the Saint, travels to San Francisco to solve crime mysteries within the police department.

Director:

John Farrow

Writers:

John Twist (screenplay), Leslie Charteris (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Sanders ... Simon Templar aka The Saint
Wendy Barrie ... Val Travers
Jonathan Hale ... Inspector Henry Fernack
Jerome Cowan ... Cullis
Barry Fitzgerald ... Zipper Dyson
Neil Hamilton ... 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
Nella Walker ... Mrs. Betty Fernack
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Posing as an insurance investigator, Tom Lawrence investigates a murder of a teacher disguised as a suicide at a women's college.

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Stars: Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Rita Corday
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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

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Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The novel upon which this film is loosely based was also published under the titles "The Saint Meets His Match" and "She Was a Lady", the latter being its original publication title. Many changes were made, including changing the locale from Europe to San Francisco, replacing Scotland Yard inspector Teal with NYPD Inspector Fernack, and changing the female lead's name from Jill Trelawney to Valerie Travers. Jill/Valerie was also British in the original book. Leslie Charteris' novel, which is given official credit in titles, is "Angels of Doom." See more »

Goofs

The airport at "Fort Worth" as indicated in this film, does not have towering hills as shown in the background. In reality, it's basically flat terrain as far as the eye can see. See more »

Quotes

Inspector Fernack: What are you doing there?
Simon Templar, aka 'The Saint': Helping you unpack.
Inspector Fernack: No you don't. You can't do that to me, Simon. I've got orders to go to San Francisco. and, by God, I'm going.
Simon Templar, aka 'The Saint': That's fine. I'll go along with you just to give you an excuse for going. I'll give myself an excuse to see a girl who's much too pretty to be clever.
See more »

Connections

Follows The Saint in New York (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
George Sanders a stylish Saint
23 June 2012 | by csteidlerSee 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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 March 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Saint Strikes Twice See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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