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Topic: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

I'm an American male in my mid-twenties who has never seen "The Saint" TV show, and I've noticed that I could pick up the DVDs on Ebay for somewhat cheaply. I enjoy Roger Moore as 007 greatly, and was wondering if I would enjoy The Saint.  Do his 007 trademark humor and screen presence also show up on the show?

My main question is - Based on what I've said on the above paragraph, do you think I would enjoy The Saint?  How much do YOU like it?


Any input would be greatly appreciated ajb007/smile

Last edited by _Gobinda_ (26th Jan 2005 19:10)

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

Quoting _Gobinda_:
I'm an American male in my mid-twenties who has never seen "The Saint" TV show, and I've noticed that I could pick up the DVDs on Ebay for somewhat cheaply. I enjoy Roger Moore as 007 greatly, and was wondering if I would enjoy The Saint.  Do his 007 trademark humor and screen presence also show up on the show?

My main question is - Based on what I've said on the above paragraph, do you think I would enjoy The Saint?  How much do YOU like it?


Any input would be greatly appreciated ajb007/smile

By all means.The Saint is Sir Roger's signature role--even more than James Bond was.Roger always played Roger, and you'll see the same elegance and humor in evidence--along with a serious tone as well.Simon Templar was the original international man of mystery-a dashing cross between A.J. Raffles and Robin Hood.For many years, The Saint was one of the most popular heroes in British adventure fiction-he predates 007 by over 30 years(his first appearance in print was in 1929).

The Saint is an excellent series, and during it's seven year run many of the actors who appeared in some of the Bonds appeared in it as well--notably Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell,and in large guest-starring roles.In fact, almost every British actor and actress of note at that time(1960s), appeared at least once on The Saint.If I remember correctly, a very young Julie Christie is in one of the earlier episodes.

A great number of the program's episodes were adapted from the original stories by The Saint's creator,Leslie Charteris(who personally selected Roger to play Simon Templar).The series was relatively expensive for it's time, and it's very much a period piece now.That's part of it's charm.

By all means give The Saint a try.There's even a kind of "The Saint Meets James Bond" episode on set 6.It's a 2-parter called,"The Fiction Makers".But check them all out.I think you'll like what you see...

Last edited by Willie Garvin (6th Jan 2009 21:04)

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

I agree with WG.  I love RM as Bond, but I love him even more in The Saint.  I think he was more rakish and suave then.

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

I totally agree with WG.  The series is fun and Roger was at his best.

If you would like you could check out THE SAINT on BBC America on Friday nights.  But if the DVDs are relatively cheap than by all means get them.

Hmm, maybe I'll take a shot at that auction. ajb007/bond

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

Another Saint fan here.  Its a GREAT series, and I think you would probably enjoy it.  What have you got to lose?

As other posters said, RM is ideal as Simon Templar.  Similar to Bond, there is a lot of travel, intrique, and pretty girls.  The Saint also has a Blofeld-type archenemy who appears in a couple episodes, named Adolph Vogler.  The ironic twists in the show are great.

Tracy has also been watching The Saint on BBC, and I'm sure she will give her approval if she sees this thread.

Let us know what you think of the show.

Last edited by justvisiting (26th Jan 2005 21:44)

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

The series with Roger Moore was good. Just don't expect the same from the 1998 remake film With Val Kilmer.

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

Quoting royale53:
The series with Roger Moore was good. Just don't expect the same from the 1998 remake film With Val Kilmer.

Indeed.Avoid the Val Kilmer movie--it's The Saint in name only.But the Roger Moore tv series is the REAL thing.

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

I quite liked the Return of the Saint with Ian Ogilvy (I'm a little tto young to remember the Roger Moore version, and, I hate to admit it, have never seen any of the re-runs or DVD copies).

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

Yes. Beware. All the Saint series and the Saint film have in common is the voice in the car radio, which belongs to Roger Moore. Otherwise, it's just the kind of movie that makes you think whether our favourite series are in safe hands in Hollywood?

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

Quoting Steve Rush DI5 Agent:
I quite liked the Return of the Saint with Ian Ogilvy (I'm a little tto young to remember the Roger Moore version, and, I hate to admit it, have never seen any of the re-runs or DVD copies).

If I'm not mistaken, he drives a Jaguar in that series, right?  Then there was a short-lived reprisal during the 80's with a darker-haired Saint, who drove a Jensen Interceptor.  Together with the white Volvo P1800, gottaluvit!

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

And then there are the many Saint movies from the 1930s and early 1940s.These are all programmers running about an hour long, but they're generally well-written, and cast with plenty of familiar character actors and certainly not without interest.Louis Hayward,George Sanders and Hugh Sinclair are among Simon Templar's many debonair interpreters.

Many of these movies are now available on DVD and VHS,and the cable channel Turner Classic Movies(TCM) shows them occasionally.In all of them Simon Templar whistles The Saint's distinctive theme.

Last edited by Willie Garvin (6th Jan 2009 21:07)

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

As we mentioned BEWARE territory...

BEWARE of The Saint in Manhattan, featuring Aussie Andrew Clarke as Simon Templar. It's actually pretty hard to stumble accross this piece, as it was the pilot of an aborted Australian-American series... But if you do, watch it really carefuly.

I actually don't know what the casting people thought when they cast Clarke into the role, becuase he really differs from both more established Saints (Roger and Ian), and the difference is taken further with a really disturbing and odd moustache.

But it's not really only Clarke's or the cast's fault, it's pretty much the mediocre script which took away all the British charm of the original and was just anoter middle of the road American crime featurette.

I came across this picture just recently with the help of a local fan, so I'd just like to warn everybody... That there is actually one worse thing than Val Kilmer's feature.

Last edited by The Cat (27th Jan 2005 00:10)

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

Full agreement,Cat.It's the screenplay more than anything else that damages The Saint in Manhattan.As I recall,the idea with this tv series pilot was to create a kind of Magnum,P.I. show but with Leslie Charteris' legendary creation as the title character.Andrew Clarke was probably cast as Simon Templar in part because he looked a little bit like the young Tom Selleck.But we know that it takes more than a moustache to help an actor's performance.

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

Quoting Willie Garvin:
Andrew Clarke was probably cast as Simon Templar in part because he looked a little bit like the young Tom Selleck.But we know that it takes more than a moustache to help an actor's performance.

He looked like a seventies porn star!

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

Andrew Clarke was probably cast as Simon Templar in part because he looked a little bit like the young Tom Selleck.

He looked like a seventies porn star!

And heeeeeeeere's ANDREW!

[img=http://www.saint.org/images/actors/clarke_3x4.jpg]

Last edited by The Cat (27th Jan 2005 07:08)

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

Quoting Willie Garvin:
By all means.The Saint is Sir Roger's signature role--even more than James Bond was.Roger always played Roger and you'll see the same elegance and humor in evidence--along with a serious tone as well.Simon Templar was the original international man of mystery-a dashing cross between A.J. Raffles and Robin Hood.
By all means give The Saint a try.There's even a kind of "The Saint Meets James Bond" episode on set 6.It's a 2-parter called,"The Fiction Makers".But check them all out.I think you'll like what you see...

From the replies in this thread, it seems that The Saint is right up my alley.  Sir Roger at his best? Mystery, intrigue, humor and pretty girls? How can I possibly turn that down? The Saint sounds wonderful! It'll also be fun to try and note all the appearances of Bond actors and actresses. I'm going to have to bid on an auction or 2 and then I'll respond back to this thread. 

Also,as advised, I'll also steer clear from the Kilmer movie and The Saint in Manhattan . Thanks to everybody who responded!

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

But which is the best series?

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

Quoting Napoleon Plural:
But which is the best series?

In my opinion the Roger Moore Saint series is considerably better than Ian Ogilvy's Return of the Saint series.This is due to the fact that RM's show adapts many of the original Leslie Charteris short stories.Also there are plenty of familiar actors in the casts-many of them before they became famous elsewhere.Then there's Roger--whose personality style and flair perfectly suits Simon Templar.Overall,The Saint is simply superior to the later sequel series.The earliest seasons are probably among the best, but the entire RM series is uniformly excellent.

I like Ian Ogilvy and he did his best with what he had to work with, but his material isn't at the same high level as Sir Roger's was.Not a bad show but nothing special.Little of the Ogilvy series is drawn from Charteris.Incidentally,Ogilvy's show was originally designed to be the adventures of the son of The Saint.In early drafts his character was Simon Templar,Jr.

Last edited by Willie Garvin (27th Jan 2005 17:01)

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

In deed. It is undoubtadly the success of the Roger era that spanned those inferior spin-offs...

May I ask those who are more familiar with the lieral origins that how much do easch of these series actually use from the original works? From what I know about Bond, I suspect that they would begin with faitful adoptations, then distinct themselves from the origianal with every passing year... Is this the case with The Saint?

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

I always thought the later episodes were too dark, as compared to the novels and the RM series.  The Saint was a great blend of action and light humor, so Roger was PERFECT for the role.  Also, Ogilvy wore these rather hip clothes that were also counter to the traditional image of the Saint, and Inspector Teal was never present.  Return of the Saint could have been almost any action hero/series.

Also, IMO the George Sanders films were not very good.  They were bland B-Pictures, and nothing more, and I thought Sanders was too arrogant for the role.

Go with RM's Saint, and you can't go wrong.

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

Quoting The Cat:
In deed. It is undoubtadly the success of the Roger era that spanned those inferior spin-offs...

May I ask those who are more familiar with the lieral origins that how much do easch of these series actually use from the original works? From what I know about Bond, I suspect that they would begin with faitful adoptations, then distinct themselves from the origianal with every passing year... Is this the case with The Saint?

Good question.Leslie Charteris was an extremely prolific writer and when the The Saint series began, one of the first goals was to adapt as much of his material as possible.Many of these stories had never been dramatised before and they dated back to the early 1930s.Charteris' final Saint novel appeared in the early 1970s:Vendetta for the Saint.So there was a wealth of material available(and I'm not counting the many Fleming Lee Saint novels Leslie Charteris edited and revised prior to their publication).Obviously many of the stories were updated but their general contents-plot,theme,characters,remained.And even after the show ended with seven years of episodes, there was still more Charteris material left untouched.

Moreover,a good number of the series episodes drew their inspiration from the numerous Saint novels,novellas and short stories, to the degree that the original teleplays(and there are many of those as well)are informed with the style of the Charteris tales.Charteris had direct input into the series and there was never a decline in quality.

Overall,The Saint tv show was a remarkable achievement.It was extremely faithful to it's parent source and the literary character while also adding another dimension to him as well.The casting of Simon Templar was, of course, absolutely crucial to the series' success and Roger Moore was perfect in the role--a part better suited to his looks and personality than any other in his career.A case of the right actor in the right role at the right time.

Last edited by Willie Garvin (28th Mar 2005 17:04)

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

So I guess the post-Moore series with Ogilvy and the others are just 'inspired by the characters,' but not written by Charteris?

Also about the 'Kilmer vehicle'. Does it contain winks and nods to the literary series? I mean if I did THE SAINT movie, I'd certainly do that. Much like DAD (one of it's redeeming aspects).

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

Quoting The Cat:
So I guess the post-Moore series with Ogilvy and the others are just 'inspired by the characters,' but not written by Charteris?

Also about the 'Kilmer vehicle'. Does it contain winks and nods to the literary series? I mean if I did THE SAINT movie, I'd certainly do that. Much like DAD (one of it's redeeming aspects).

Generally, all the black and white episodes are based on Charteris novels, but they ran out of materials by the time it went to color.  New original stories were then written for television.

Last edited by justvisiting (27th Jan 2005 19:13)

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

Quoting The Cat:
So I guess the post-Moore series with Ogilvy and the others are just 'inspired by the characters,' but not written by Charteris?

Also about the 'Kilmer vehicle'. Does it contain winks and nods to the literary series? I mean if I did THE SAINT movie, I'd certainly do that. Much like DAD (one of it's redeeming aspects).


The Ogilvy series uses the Saint character but is almost entirely comprised of original stories created for that show.There might be one or two Charteris stories adapted,but "inspired by" is the best overall description.

As for the Kilmer movie--this one has a weird  and tangled history.

It all began as a new Saint movie starring Roger Moore in his final turn as Simon Templar-one in which he meets his equally adventuresome son.In the earliest drafts Simon Templar--played by Roger Moore at his real age--finds himself in an adventure where he manages to accidentally come across the adult son he didn't know existed.Simon Holm is the handsome and dashing son of Templar and his longtime girlfriend,the late Patricia Holm(from the early Charteris novels).The two Simons join together to take on the villains and at the end of the movie Simon Templar passes the mantle--or halo if you will--of "The Saint" to Simon Jr,who in turn becomes Simon Templar Jr., and a new Saint for a new age.A Saint movie series would follow with the new Saint as it's lead character.

Pierce Brosnan was offered the role of Simon Templar Jr,and he found it tempting--but he turned it down in order to be available in case Eon was interested in him playing James Bond.And as we all know,they were.

So....the screenplay was rewritten several more times until it became an origin tale explaining The Saint's past and his motivations.That's the film Val Kilmer(a talented actor but miscast in this instance) starred in.There's nothing of Leslie Charteris in it--even The Saint's internationally famous stick man symbol was redesigned.It would be a much better movie if it didn't pretend to be a Saint movie--because it really isn't, regardless of the title.There are no winks or nods to the literary Saint anywhere in this movie.In fact,Roger Moore's UNICEF ad on the car radio at the film's close is the only link to what came before--and that's too bad.

Unlike Ian Fleming,Leslie Charteris lived to see his famous creation dramatized in the movies,on the radio,in comic strips and on television.He owned his character outright and always had considerable input into the many dramatic versions of his creation other people dealt with.I sincerely doubt that he'd have enjoyed the Kilmer film.Leslie Charteris was always very protective of his famous character and was careful to never give The Saint an origin--he's supposed to be a man of mystery,after all, and some mystery should always be maintained.

Last edited by Willie Garvin (28th Mar 2005 17:07)

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Re: Recommend "The Saint" or not?

I have loved the episodes of The Saint I've watched on TV in the past -and will no doubt buy them on DVD eventually.

Getting back to the books I purchased two old paperbacks the other day - A Pan paperback titled Senor Saint, and a Hodder and Stoughton Paperback titled Featuring The Saint - each book has more than one tale in it, and they cost me £1.00 for the two! ajb007/smile