The Saint in Palm Springs (1941)

65-66 mins | Drama | 24 January 1941

Director:

Jack Hively

Producer:

Howard Benedict

Cinematographer:

Harry Wild

Editor:

George Hively

Production Designer:

Van Nest Polglase

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Although the character played by Wendy Barrie is addressed as "Elna Johnson" in the dialogue, the Var and NYT reviews list her name as "Elna Massen". This was the fifth and final time that George Sanders played "Simon Templar," a role he took over from Louis Hayward in the 1939 RKO film The Saint Takes Over . It was also the last of "The Saint" series produced in the United States by RKO. The next film in the series, The Saint's Vacation (see below), was produced in England to utilize studio funds frozen by the British government during World War II and featured Hugh Sinclair in the title role. According to a Feb 1941 news item in HR , the studio decided to cast Sanders as a new mystery character in a series to be developed by writers Lynn Root and Frank Fenton. The new character that was finally developed for Sanders was that of "Gay Lawrence, The Falcon," a role so similiar to "The Saint" that according to modern sources, Leslie Charteris, the creator of "The Saint," sued the studio for stealing his character. The first film in the series was The Gay Falcon (see above), which featured Sanders and Wendy Barrie, his female lead in The Saint in Palm Springs and two other "Saint" films. For additional information about "The Saint," consult the Series Index and see entry for the 1938 film The Saint in New York in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; ... More Less

Although the character played by Wendy Barrie is addressed as "Elna Johnson" in the dialogue, the Var and NYT reviews list her name as "Elna Massen". This was the fifth and final time that George Sanders played "Simon Templar," a role he took over from Louis Hayward in the 1939 RKO film The Saint Takes Over . It was also the last of "The Saint" series produced in the United States by RKO. The next film in the series, The Saint's Vacation (see below), was produced in England to utilize studio funds frozen by the British government during World War II and featured Hugh Sinclair in the title role. According to a Feb 1941 news item in HR , the studio decided to cast Sanders as a new mystery character in a series to be developed by writers Lynn Root and Frank Fenton. The new character that was finally developed for Sanders was that of "Gay Lawrence, The Falcon," a role so similiar to "The Saint" that according to modern sources, Leslie Charteris, the creator of "The Saint," sued the studio for stealing his character. The first film in the series was The Gay Falcon (see above), which featured Sanders and Wendy Barrie, his female lead in The Saint in Palm Springs and two other "Saint" films. For additional information about "The Saint," consult the Series Index and see entry for the 1938 film The Saint in New York in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.3879. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4 Jan 1941.
---
Daily Variety
31 Dec 1940.
---
Film Daily
8 Jan 41
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Oct 40
pp. 12-13.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Nov 40
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Dec 40
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Feb 41
p. 2.
Motion Picture Herald
4 Jan 1941.
---
New York Times
31 Jan 41
p. 15.
Variety
8 Jan 41
p. 24.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Leslie Charteris.
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
24 January 1941
Production Date:
mid October--11 November 1940
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
24 January 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10267
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
65-66
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
6789
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Simon Templar, the debonair sleuth known as "The Saint," becomes involved in murder when his friend, New York City police inspector Henry Fernack, asks him to act as bodyguard for Peter Johnson, the brother of an old friend who is carrying three rare stamps valued at $200,000. Johnson has smuggled the stamps, which represent his brother's life savings, out of Europe to present to his niece, Elna Johnson, a tennis pro at a resort in Palm Springs, California. Simon agrees to accompany Fernack's friend to Palm Springs, but as Peter withdraws the stamps from his hotel room safe, a gunshot shot rings out and he falls to the ground, dead. Simon strikes Peter's assailant in the face with his "Saint" ring, but the man escapes, leaving the stamps behind. Simon then boards the train to Palm Springs, where he meets Margaret Forbes, a fellow passenger who is also bound for the Twin Palms Lodge in Palm Springs. At the lodge, Simon meets his old friend, pickpocket Clarence "Pearly" Gates, who is working as the house detective while on probation from prison. When Simon is assaulted in his bungalow by a thief in search of the stamps, he informs Pearly that he has been followed from New York and asks for his help. The next day, Pearly introduces Simon to Elna, but when he presents her with the locket in which the stamps have been hidden, she discovers that the locket is empty. Simon asks Elna for twenty-four hours to find the stamps, and after obtaining a list of the hotel guests who had checked in the previous day, he asks Pearly to ... +


Simon Templar, the debonair sleuth known as "The Saint," becomes involved in murder when his friend, New York City police inspector Henry Fernack, asks him to act as bodyguard for Peter Johnson, the brother of an old friend who is carrying three rare stamps valued at $200,000. Johnson has smuggled the stamps, which represent his brother's life savings, out of Europe to present to his niece, Elna Johnson, a tennis pro at a resort in Palm Springs, California. Simon agrees to accompany Fernack's friend to Palm Springs, but as Peter withdraws the stamps from his hotel room safe, a gunshot shot rings out and he falls to the ground, dead. Simon strikes Peter's assailant in the face with his "Saint" ring, but the man escapes, leaving the stamps behind. Simon then boards the train to Palm Springs, where he meets Margaret Forbes, a fellow passenger who is also bound for the Twin Palms Lodge in Palm Springs. At the lodge, Simon meets his old friend, pickpocket Clarence "Pearly" Gates, who is working as the house detective while on probation from prison. When Simon is assaulted in his bungalow by a thief in search of the stamps, he informs Pearly that he has been followed from New York and asks for his help. The next day, Pearly introduces Simon to Elna, but when he presents her with the locket in which the stamps have been hidden, she discovers that the locket is empty. Simon asks Elna for twenty-four hours to find the stamps, and after obtaining a list of the hotel guests who had checked in the previous day, he asks Pearly to pick their pockets, hoping to find the stamps. As they examine their lot, Simon finds the stamps in a pillbox containing knock-out pills. When Pearly is unable to remember from whose pocket he procured the pillbox, Simon asks police chief R. L. Graves to help set a trap for the murderer. That night, the pickpocket victims are summoned to a room to reclaim their losses, but before the owner of the pillbox can be identified, a police officer is murdered and the box disappears. Soon after, an armed man reclaims the box from Simon, but the sleuth had already removed the stamps from the box. The next morning, Simon presents the stamps to Elna, who locks them in the hotel safe. That afternoon, Elna, Simon and Margaret go horseback riding and Simon advises Elna that the stamps would be safer in her possession. When she returns to the lodge, Elna withdraws the stamps from the safe, and that night, Pearly and Simon watch her bungalow in hopes of trapping the murderer. When Elna returns to her bungalow, Margaret demands the stamps at gunpoint, but after Margaret runs outside, a shot rings out and she falls to the ground, dead. Simon then shows Elna a telegram that he had received from Fernack, informing him that Margaret was a foreign agent in search of the stamps. Margaret's death leads Simon to conclude that they are now dealing with an organized gang, and he sets another trap for the murderer by sending a note to Elna instructing her to meet him at the Joshua tree at midnight. The murderer intercepts the note, and that night, as Pearly and Elna wait for Simon, Mr. Evans, a guest at the hotel, invites Simon for a drink and drugs him with knock-out pills. Failing to find the stamps in Simon's possession, Evans orders one of his men to guard Simon while he and the rest of the gang drive to the Joshua tree. At the tree, as Evans threatens Elna, Simon, who had substituted aspirin for the knock-out pills, rides up and tricks Evans into confessing to the murders. At that moment, Chief Graves and his men appear from the shadows, and when Simon reveals the scar that the blow from his ring inscribed upon Evans' face, the case is closed. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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