The Saint in New York
Time Out saysA one-off for Louis Hayward, kicking off RKO's series featuring Leslie Charteris' latter-day Robin Hood, although he did in fact return to the role in 1953 for Hammer's attempt to revive the character, The Saint's Return (aka The Saint's Girl Friday). Rakishly raffish rather than dashingly debonair, Hayward was less bland than his successor George Sanders, and The Saint in New York is accordingly much darker than subsequent films in the series as the Saint sets out to dispose of six New York gangsters, disguises himself as a nun, falls in love (happily for the series, it runs into a dead end), and ends up uncovering a seventh villain known as The Big Fellow. The plus here is Joe August's fine camerawork. Sanders took over for five films, starting with The Saint Strikes Back (1939, admirably directed by John Farrow), and continuing to formula, enjoyably but unexceptionally, with The Saint in London (1939, a British quota quickie), The Saint's Double Trouble (1940), The Saint Takes Over (1940), The Saint in Palm Springs (1941). Following a dispute with Leslie Charteris, RKO simply metamorphosed the character into The Falcon; RKO British tried Hugh Sinclair in two films (The Saint's Vacation and The Saint Meets the Tiger both 1941); and the character found a happy home on TV during the '60s in the person of Roger Moore.