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The Saint (1997)

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Simon Templar (The Saint), is a thief for hire, whose latest job to steal the secret process for cold fusion puts him at odds with a traitor bent on toppling the Russian government, as well as the woman who holds its secret.


Phillip Noyce


Leslie Charteris (character), Jonathan Hensleigh (story) | 2 more credits »
4,916 ( 196)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Val Kilmer ... Simon Templar
Elisabeth Shue ... Dr. Emma Russell
Rade Serbedzija ... Ivan Tretiak
Valeriy Nikolaev Valeriy Nikolaev ... Ilya Tretiak (as Valery Nikolaev)
Henry Goodman ... Dr. Lev Botvin
Alun Armstrong ... Inspector Teal
Michael Byrne ... Vereshagin, Tretiak's Aide
Evgeniy Lazarev ... President Karpov (as Evgeny Lazarev)
Irina Apeksimova ... Frankie (as Irina Apeximova)
Lev Prygunov ... General Sklarov (as Lev Prigunov)
Charlotte Cornwell Charlotte Cornwell ... Inspector Rabineau
Emily Mortimer ... Woman on Plane
Lucija Serbedzija Lucija Serbedzija ... Russian Prostitute
Velibor Topic ... Skinhead
Tommy Flanagan ... Scarface


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


A man without a name, can never be identified. A man who doesn't exist, can never be caught. A man who doesn't love, can never truly be alive 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:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Paramount Pictures




English | Russian

Release Date:

4 April 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El Santo See more »

Filming Locations:

Moscow, Russia See more »


Box Office


$68,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,278,873, 6 April 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$61,363,304, 31 December 1997

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS


Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Phillip Noyce originally hoped to have Mel Gibson play the lead. Gibson was initially interested, but then decided that he had spent too long away from home making Braveheart (1995). See more »


When Emma and Simon meet in England (after Moscow), there is a flipped shot where Simon's mole and Emma's scar swap sides on their faces. See more »


Simon: Tell me you love me.
Emma: I love you.
Simon: Simon.
Emma: I love you Simon.
Simon: Miracle three.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In Loving Memory Elisabeth Leustig (She was the film's Casting Director who was tragically killed in a car accident on a Moscow street during production.) See more »

Alternate Versions

UK versions are cut by the BBFC with a minor edit to a shot in a nightclub where Tretiak is seen to visibly snort a line of cocaine on a mirror. See more »


References The Saint (1962) See more »


Traditional, arranged by A. Tsarykuliev
Performed by Ashkhabad
Courtesy of Real World Records Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

So what's so bad about The Saint?
20 March 2000 | by The_Movie_CatSee all my reviews

I saw this movie expecting a remake turkey of Avengeresque proportions, yet what I found was an adequately enjoyable action-espionage romp that held my attention for the whole of its duration.

To be honest, I know nothing about The Saint. All I know is that it starred Roger Moore (an actor who, like Kilmer, is unlikely to be troubled by the Academy) and had a vaguely-memorable theme tune. Then it came back with Ian Ogilvy, who was less popular, but had a cracking theme under the name of "Return of the Saint". Oh, and he wears a little stick-figure "Saint" icon, which is oddly effeminate with it's one hand on hip, the other tilted. A bit of a fey emblem for one so suave.

Other than that, I came to this film afresh. I'm not normally Val's biggest fan (feeling he virtually slid off the screen in apathy during Batman Forever) and only tuned in to see a real lousy movie, an enjoyable pastime on occasion. However, while Val may be a charisma-free zone on a par with Keanu, I think in The Saint he does seem to be enjoying himself a lot more. In fact, in a more personable actor, this film could have easily become a one-liner spouting, smug action film. With the more... er... dormant, shall we say?... performance of Kilmer, it has a less abrasive edge.

The plot, acting and dialogue probably won't stand up to close inspection, but then this isn't the sort of film you're going to watch more than once. It's passable entertainment, where Kilmer adopts a variety of ludicrous disguises and even more ludicrous accents to foil some Russians in a cold fusion war.

Val's characterisation is interesting, as is the role itself. I mean, what is The Saint, other than a glorified thief? Only British tv could come up with such an anti-hero; a leading man who basically... nicks things. Even towards the end, when a more philanthropic nature is revealed, this is still a man with $50 million in the bank, and yet no-one yells "you dirty crook" and all the women want to bed him.

I liked the fact that a lot of it was set in England, something you don't often get in Hollywood films. Best bit in this country had to be the English police tackling an armed man. "Stop, sir, hold it right there" says the unarmed policewoman. A nice culture clash.

I'm not trying to justify this as a classic, and neither is it rocket science. (Well, actually, having said that, rocket science IS one of its plot elements...) All I'm saying is that this picture was an enjoyable, passable way to spend an hour and fifty minutes, a nice piece of escapist fluff that harms no one.

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