The New York Saint
New York is plagued by organized crime, by a group of criminals who despite the best attempts of the law remain untouchable. It is why the police commissioner sends William Valcross (Frederick Burton) to South America to track down the vigilante Simon Templar, aka The Saint (Louis Hayward - Ruthless). After two months of following his trail of calling cards Valcross tracks The Saint down and hires him to deal with a list containing the names of 6 criminals. Simon's endeavours to deal with those on the list lead him to go after someone called the Big Fella.
I have a strange recollection of watching reruns of Ian Ogilvy as The Saint and certainly remember Val Kilmer's "Mission: Impossible" take on the character in the unimaginatively titled "The Saint". But in truth the character of The Saint has never done a great deal for me even on the odd occasion where I have caught a bit of Roger Moore's "The Saint" from the 1960's. So I was surprised when having come across "The Saint in New York" the first big screen movie to star Leslie Charteris's famous character I found myself surprisingly entertained.
Now "The Saint in New York" is not a great movie, but it has energy about it which makes it very easy to watch as it skips along from scene to scene of The Saint confronting bad guys and following clues. It also has that basic intriguing idea of The Saint being a vigilante, one which the cops resort to hiring when they can't deal with the bad guys themselves. In truth it is the mix of energy and that basic idea which I found more interesting than as to what the story is about although it is solid enough to introduce the world to The Saint on the big screen, offering up just enough action.
There is of course the matter of Louis Hayward as Simon Templar and he certainly plays his as a confident fellow, not arrogant but very close to. He also makes him this wonderful mix of being a debonair gentleman but one which is obviously dangerous, who appears to take deep satisfaction in what he does.
What this all boils down to is that "The Saint in New York" was in truth a lot more entertaining than I expected it to be. Even for someone who has never been drawn to the vigilante character of The Saint it plays out at a nice pace with a pleasant blend of thriller, humour and action.