The Saint With Vincent Price

Leslie Charteris’ character Simon Templar, The Saint, is one of the most durable creations in modern genre fiction. The hero of a series of novels and short stories, Simon has been portrayed in movies, two television series, comics books, comic strips, and had a mystery magazine as well. For those who know Simon best from the Roger Moore television series, or perhaps Val Kilmer’s version in the most recent movie, it may be useful to go back to the roots of the character as Mr. Charteris created him. Perhaps the character was best summed up in the title “The Brighter Buccaneer”. The real Saint was (and is) larger than life, swaggering and self confident. He had looks, wealth, and a clearly exaggerated sense of his own wit and abilities — although his abilities were on a par with such comic book not-quite-super powered characters as BatMan and Captain America. In contrast to the Saint of the novels and stories, he has been portrayed most often as an almost run of the mill detective — losing much of what made him unique. Roger Moore’s Saint even drove a Volvo! These portrayals lacked the larger than life spirit that was The Saint. George Sanders, the best known movie Saint even seemed a bit melancholy. Of all the actors who played the role, only Mr. Price, with the voice of The Laughing Cavalier, was able to bring to life the true character that Mr. Charteris created. While the scripts have the same essential limitations as those of most radio mysteries, Mr. Price comes closer to offering the true Saint than any performer before or since. Again, this is radio, and the format doesn’t allow The Saint to save the world, prevent wars, or defeat master criminals — but it doesn’t matter, because this Saint, with Vincent Price, is thier closest thing to the real Saint that you can hope to find

The Saint radio program, starring Vincent Price. All known existing shows from 1944-1951, plus three dramatized Saint novels.

Link: The Saint-WikiPedia

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