Sunday 18 November 2007

The Saint in Palm Springs (1941) Jack Hively

Simon Templar, the Saint, arrives back in the States to a welcoming committee of police ready to arrest him for murder at the request of Inspector Fernack. Naturally Templar outwits them and visits Fernack on his own to find out what's going on. Fernack gets him involved in a plan that involves enough that flouts legality to prevent him from helping out officially. A friend from the first great war is in major trouble in the old country because of the second one. He's managed to convert his fortune into three very valuable postage stamps which he's trying to get to his daughter, Elna Johnson, in Palm Springs, via his brother. Of course the bad guys take out Elna's Uncle Peter and the Saint must complete the job.

George Sanders was never the Saint that Leslie Charteris wrote about (apparently Roger Moore is closer to the original concept), but he was always fun to watch. He made five Saint films all told, none of which were as good as his performances in them, and this was the last one before he handed the role over to Hugh Sinclair for a couple of outings. He gets some able assistance in his work by Paul Guilfoyle, playing Clarence 'Pearly' Gates, a former pickpocket working as the hotel detective at the hotel where Elna works and everything goes down.

The story here isn't a bad one but it doesn't really surprise any and it just sort of fizzles out.

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