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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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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:

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The address The Saint gives Inspector Fernack as to where he should go for breakfast and get his clothes back the next day - 823 Pacific Avenue in San Francisco - is in the middle of the Chinatown district. 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

Val Travers: Why are you telling *me* all this?
Simon Templar, aka 'The Saint': Because... well... because I love you. But don't let's get sticky about it - I'm really a very shallow person. I also love fireflies, mocking-birds and pink sunsets. I think, however, that we could find each other more diverting than a pink sunset, don't you?
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Saint in London (1939) 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 bob the mooSee 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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