The Fiction-Makers (1968) Poster

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The Best Heist Movie Ever
rcraig6215 July 2004
Granted, I've never seen Rififi or Grand Slam, but this one-time TV two-parter of The Saint that was later given a theatrical release is to me, the best heist movie I've ever watched. Roger Moore stars, in his pre-Bond days, in a sendup of James Bond pictures, as Simon Templar, he is sent to protect the identity of a fictional Ian Fleming named Amos Klein, who prefers to remain anonymous to the public. It turns out that Mr. Klein is actually a girl, and she and Templar are kidnapped by a gang who take their identities from the baddies in Klein's book and Klein is asked to produce a real-life device to break into an actual fortress of a bank.

The comedy is hilarious, and the spoof of Bond works on so many levels: it's a Bond movie that spoofs Bond played by a James Bond. Roger Moore may only be able to play one thing, but he plays it wonderfully with effortless charm, Sylvia Syms is terrific as Klein, and Kenneth J. Warren outstanding as the Klein devotee/gang leader Warlock. This is a sadly lost piece of work and one of the most underrated movies in the world. And I never fail to laugh when Moore scolds Ken Warren for behaving "like a mentally deficient buffalo." 4 **** out of 4
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Templar shows his class again.
Ffolkes-312 October 1999
"The Fiction Makers" was originally aired as a two-part Saint (TV series) adventure in 1968 (episodes #109 and # 110). Later it had theatrical and TV release as a feature film. This time famous Simon Templar (Roger Moore) has to face sinister Warlock (Kenneth J. Warren) , whose crimes are based on ideas taken from the books of a well known writer - Amos Klein (Sylvia Syms). Well, it's a typical Saint adventure which includes: grotesque villain, beautiful women, the chase, the fight and of course the one and only Roger Moore (the last real gent) , who proves that he's the best Simon Templar ever. The film was made in 60s and it can be rather funny than exciting but it doesn't matter. You don't watch this film because of its thrilling plot but because it's different than all those lousy "shoot n' run (and don't think much on your way)" films done these days. "The Fiction Makers" can be found as a very good documentary of what was popular in the 60s and how the films for TV were being made. But the greatest attribute of the film is, as I wrote before, 40-year old, but still looking good, future lord Brett Sinclair and James Bond - Roger Moore, his world famous Saint haircut (wow) and his perfect manners. My grade is 8/10, because the second Saint feature with Moore - "Vendetta For The Saint" (1969) is indeed much more thrilling.
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The Saint sends up James Bond
grendelkhan23 June 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers abound!

This feature version of the two-part tv story is basically a send-up of James Bond. It starts with Simon Templar narrating the cliched action appearing on a movie screen; a very James Bond-ish scene, right down to the actors voice. The film is an adaptation of the novels of Amos Kline; stories of a daring adventure hero. Kline's publisher hires Templar to act as a bodyguard for Kline after his office is broken into and Kline's address is stolen. You see, Amos Kline is a pseudonym and his identity is a closely guarded secret.

The Saint finds Kline, who is (surprise!) a woman! Barely recovering from this shock, Templar and Kline are grabbed by a group of thugs. This gang has modeled itself after the criminal organization of Kline's books, S.W.O.R.D. They want Kline, who Templar is impersonating, to devise a plan for them to rob a coal mine turned bank vault.

Templar and Kline play their game while planning their escape, only to be caught. Simon is forced to carry out the robbery in earnest. Ultimately, the Saint turns the tables and saves the day.

The film is great fun as the whole story is tongue-in-cheek. Roger Moore was far better suited to Simon Templar than James Bond. Sylvia Symms is an energetic Amos Kline and handles the comedy well. The S.W.O.R.D. group is filled with actors recognizable to viewers of British movies and tv of the era; and all do a fine job. This is an entertaining light adventure, and perfect when you are in the mood for a little fun. It was released on video when the Val Kilmer movie was in theaters and is now available, in its original form, on A&E Home Video's Saint collection; definitely worth seeking out. The Saint was tailor-made for Moore.
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CHEER! - (8 stars out of 10)
Front-Row-Reviews4 February 2019
The stage curtains open ...

Before Roger Moore was James Bond 007, he was Simon Templar, "The Saint". This 1968 film, "The Fiction-Makers", is such a fun movie to watch. It really is escapism that is campy, intelligent, and memorable. Originally shown on TV in two different episodes, they were combined for a cinema release and is now commonly packaged as a full-length movie.

Simon is asked to protect and look after a best-selling adventure novelist, a recluse woman who writes under the pseudonym of Amos Klein. And he arrives not a moment too soon as they are both abducted and taken to a veritable fortress under the control of a man who calls himself Warlock. Warlock is an obsessed fan of Klein's work, and has taken every idea she has written in her novels and brought them to life. Thinking that Templar is Klein, he forces them to assist him in planning and executing a daring heist that only his favorite novelist would be able to pull off.

For having been made in the late 60's, this film actually holds up pretty well. Moore shows off his usual wit and charm, and it is easy to see in this film why he was considered to fill the shoes of 007 after Connery and Lazenby. There is plenty of humor here as well that will generate a laugh or two along the way. And at the end of it all, you will be smiling ear to ear. "The Fiction-Makers" is a guilty pleasure - a lost gem.

I highly recommend this one. It took me a long time to find it again for my own personal collection, but now that I have it, I'll never let it go.
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The first good thriller seen
Cristi_Ciopron27 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Might this be the one where Templar passes, slips through a finely crafted net of invisible deadly beams, maybe of lasers? I have seen it twice ,once in the movie theater, then once again on TV. I've read that the Moore features are TV things as well—yet in my country at least this TEMPLAR got a theater release.

It might be that it was the first good glamorous action movie that I've ever seen. I think I never really liked Templar, but he's a competent action star. To me at least, the movie looked nicely timed, suspenseful, enthralling, fast—paced. And certainly more glamorous than any other movie. By then, I knew nothing about 'Bond' and the '60s TV series, so THE SAINT had the privilege of being unique. The plot was to a 9 yrs. old as tempting as it was nearly incomprehensible.
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Good writing and some nice acting
bensonmum222 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
To be fair to The Fiction Makers, it's important to remember that it's really a two-part episode of The Saint that was cobbled together and released as a movie. I'm not an expert on The Saint, but this might be the best I've seen. The plot involves a crazed criminal, known only as Warlock (Kenneth J. Warren), who has taken the ideas from a series of spy novels and used them as an instruction manual for his entire criminal organization. Warlock kidnaps Simon Templar (Roger Moore), believing him to be the author known as Amos Klein, and Joyce Darling (Sylvia Syms), the real novelist. Warlock wants Klein to "write" a plan to rob a heavily guarded bank vault.

The Fiction Makers comes across as something of a mix of James Bond and a heist movie – both very popular in the 60s. It's not great example of either, but it is entertaining. Roger Moore is good, but is generally upstaged by both Warren and Syms. Warren's crazed Warlock is a treat – threatening and funny all at the same time. He appears to be having a blast with the role. Syms can best be described as a delight. I really must track down more of her work. While it's obvious that The Fiction Makers is a television production with the staged-bound look and television style lighting and editing, veteran director Roy Ward Baker brings a wealth of experience to the film. He keeps things moving and interesting. The witty writing is also a winner. Warlock, his gang known as S.W.O.R.D., and the almost religious-like adherence to the books Warlock bases his organization on might be a bit silly, but it is fun. Other than the exceptionally cheap looking bank sets (especially those really lame looking red lasers) that demonstrate the true nature of the budget Baker was working with, I've got few complaints. A 7/10 from me.
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THE FICTION-MAKERS (Roy Ward Baker, 1968) **
Bunuel197629 May 2008
Naturally, I was aware of Roger Moore having been Simon Templar aka The Saint (a character created, complete with instantly recognizable theme, by Leslie Charteris) before he was Agent 007 aka James Bond, but I’d never actually watched him in the role (other than catching bits and pieces from the TV series when it was broadcast on Italian TV or the Bravo Cable channel).

Anyway, a number of episodes from “The Saint” (the series began shooting in black-and-white, then switched to color) were compiled to make up two individual features (the other being VENDETTA FOR THE SAINT [1969], which is to follow) and released to theaters. However, there was no mistaking the flat TV style (despite employing a veteran film-maker who had even worked in Hollywood), the full-frame ratio, or the studio-bound look (the big-budgeted James Bond adventures clearly could afford to be a great deal more elaborate); nevertheless, the cinematographer of this one – Michael Reed – went on to lens the very next 007 outing i.e. ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE (1969)!

The film, as a whole, emerges to be mildly enjoyable and serves up a fairly ingenious plot: Templar is mistaken for a popular pulp fiction novelist (actually a woman, played by Sylvia Syms) and kidnapped by a gang – hiding under the aliases of the criminal organization (complete with an H.Q. built to specifications) and characters ‘he’ had himself created – in order to plan a heist from an impregnable site! The leader of the villains is played by a flustered Kenneth J. Warren, who has fun with the role; his associates, then, include Nicholas Smith (later to be seen in the ARE YOU BEING SERVED? comic TV series!) and the engaging Justine Lord (who would prove a memorable femme fatale, literally “The Girl Who Was Death”, in the episode of that name from what was possibly the cult TV series of the era i.e. THE PRISONER).

As I said, the film suffers most from its ultra-modest budget – allowing for thrills and action highlights which, while not disagreeable in themselves, are decidedly bland and predictable, especially when stacked alongside what was being delivered in similar vein on the big screen…
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Utterly awful
arteden4810 February 2019
Cliched, stereotyped, poorly written, plot holes you could drive a bus through, overlong and endlessly annoying. The scene where our hero and the pointless woman are pursued by dogs made me want to knock her out. Don't !
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The Ficton Makers
henry8-33 March 2019
2 episodes of the classic series sewn together for a UK cinema release. Simon Templar is mistaken for a writer of clever thrillers by a group of fanatics hell bent on robbing an impregnable strongroom.

Whether a parody or a straight copy, the similarities to Goldfinger are pretty blatant. Accepting this, this remains a fun enough piece of hokum if you like the tv series, helped considerably by the presence of Sylvia Syms.
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Mildly Entertaining and a feint tribute to 60s heist and spy films
shakercoola24 February 2019
This feature length British spy film adventure, which dovetailed with the successful TV series of "The Saint", had a limited release and departed slightly from the drama of the series by showcasing the talents of, by then, the light comedy talents of stars, Roger Moore and Sylvia Sims. Technically, it has a flat TV look with full screen ratio because of its release previously as a two-part TV format. As a flick it works better. It has an interesting and ingenious plot, and the action, while not particularly suspenseful, is enjoyable and the third act holds up quite well. Despite it's low budget and a TV stage feel, the film has good production values and is well produced. The film pays tribute in a small way to a burgeoning new genre of fantasy spy and heist films, and as an aside, several scenes and motifs in the film resemble other such films: Goldfinger (1964), Pink Panther (1964) and Entrapment (1999).
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