Monday, March 06, 2017


The Saint is Simon Templar, a Robin Hood-like criminal who now mostly works for the side of the law. In the run of Saint movies in the 30s and 40s, George Sanders played him most often, though Louis Hayward originated the role, and in the last two films—of which this is the final one—the part went to British B-movie actor Hugh Sinclair. Though he has none of Sanders' flair or snarky charm, Sinclair is likable enough in a laid-back way. The film begins with Templar getting a phone call from someone offering him a million pounds. But when the fellow shows up at Templar's door, he's been stabbed in the back; his dying words are "Tiger" and "Baycombe." Inspector Teal identifies the man as Joe Gallo, a bookie who was suspected of being part of a gang that pulled off the recent robbery of a million pounds in gold. Soon arriving in the quaint seaside village of Baycombe are Templar and his trusty butler Horace, where they meet some locals, including a nosy reporter named Tidemarsh; Pat Holm, a wealthy young woman, and her Aunt Agatha; banker and leading town citizen Lionel Bentley and his associate Bittle; and a visiting geologist named Karn who turns out to be Inspector Teal in disguise. Despite still having a healthy suspicion of Templar, Teal works with him to figure out who's who and what's what. The plot involves the gang attempting to smuggle the stolen gold out to a busted gold mine in South Africa owned by Pat, and though we learn fairly quickly that Bentley is one of the crooks, the rest of the trickery is best left unspoiled. Even though, as noted above, Sinclair is no Sanders, he goes through the paces in a pleasing fashion, making the character his own. Wylie Watson is no Eric Blore (one of the best screen butlers ever though he did not appear in any Saint movies) but he makes a fine sidekick, with a more pronounced sense of adventure than many a detective's butler. Gordon McLeod is fine as the inspector. Clifford Evans is Tidemarsh, who may be more than he appears, Jean Gillie (pictured with Sinclair) is so-so as Pat, and Louise Hampton is fine as Aunt Agatha, who may have a secret or two of her own. There is a nice double-cross twist near the end and the final conflict is exciting. Worth catching. [TCM]

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