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The Saint helps a framed inspector and falls in love
"The Saint Takes Over" stars George Sanders as Simon Templar, aka "The Saint" in this 1940 entry into the series. It also stars Wendy Barrie, Jonathan Hale and Paul Guilfoyle. On board ship en route to the U.S., The Saint meets and tries to make time with a woman (Wendy Barrie) who gives him the brushoff. Simon is coming to New York to help Inspector Fernack, now thoroughly discredited due to a gangster frame-up; $50,000 was found in his home. The gangster, Rocky (Roland Drew), of course, was found not guilty at trial, and he and his fellow mobsters pay the bill for the frame and attorney representation - $90,000 in total. Today you need that to defend yourself against a parking ticket. This was a murder rap.
Rocky sends his bodyguard, Pearly Gates (Guilfoyle) to the lawyer's house to steal the $90,000 from the safe. The attorney catches him red-handed and sends him back to his boss with a message. Seconds later, he's dead. Rocky meets a similar fate. And on and on - who's killing this group of gangsters? The Saint has to get one of them to talk so that Fernack can be cleared - can he get to anyone before they're murdered? The woman he met on board ship reappears and figures prominently in the case.
Few actors have a way with a line like George Sanders, and his dry wit, good looks, smooth voice and depth as an actor suit Simon Templar perfectly. Paul Guilfoyle provides some humor as the nervous, milk drinking Pearly Gates, and Jonathan Hale is great as the sometimes exasperated but worried sick Inspector Fernack. Wendy Barrie, who appeared in many Saint episodes, is very good as the woman who captures Simon's heart.
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