The Val Kilmer Saint Movie Ten Years Later

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Val Kilmer Saint Movie Ten Years Later

The Saint, staring Val Kilmer, Elisabeth Shue, Rade Serbedzija, and Valeri Nikolayev was released on April 4, 1997. That means the 10th anniversary is coming up in a few months. Yes indeed, it would be great if Paramount would release a special anniversary edition with all the extras we have been looking forward to for many years now.

One of the most discussed missing features of the current DVD and VHS editions is the original ending. In fact Director Phillip Noyce has said that he hopes that one day he will be present the original version on a new DVD.

Here are some details about the original plot and ending from Wikipedia's entry for The Saint (Film):
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

When the final film was test screened, audiences reacted badly to the death of Dr. Emma Russell.

In the original version of the film - as in the original Jonathan Hensleigh script - Dr. Russell, having escaped Russia via the American embassy, collapses while giving a lecture and dies in The Saint's arms. Watching the videotape back, he sees Tretiak, Jr. stabbing her in the leg with the tip of his cane. The final half-hour has the Saint returning to Moscow to destroy the villains' plans and avenge her death. With Dr. Botvin's help, he switches the formulas around and humiliates Tretiak during his show trial of the Russian president. The Tretiaks shoot their way out of the crowd and escape back to their mansion, with The Saint and the Russian army in pursuit. Tretiak shoots the treacherous Dr. Botvin. The Saint arrives and finds the bodies of Botvin and Tretiak, killed by his own son. The Saint battles Dr. Russell's killer on the stairwell as Russian tanks pound the mansion walls, exposing and setting fire to the vast stockpile of heating oil in the basement. With the stairwell disintegrating around them, the fight spills out on to the chandelier, suspended above the blazing oil. The Saint teases Treatiak, Jr. with the disc containing the formula for cold fusion. As he reaches out for it, The Saint cuts the rope and Tretiak, Jr. plummets to a fiery death. Returning to Dr. Russell's home, the Saint finds a letter from her, a tear fills his eye and he vows from now on to use his skills only for good.

Test audiences didn't like the way Dr. Russell died three-quarters of the way into the film; it was a little confusing as to what had happened to her. The novelization features an alternate version in which Dr. Russell lives and The Saint and Tretiak, Jr. still battle on the chandelier. In the end, however, the producers decided to cut Dr. Russell's death scene, chopped off the action-packed climax, inserted footage of the Tretiak's being arrested and filmed a new epilogue at Oxford. (Footage from the original ending features prominently in the film's trailer.) Director Phillip Noyce hopes one day to be able to restore the original version for DVD.

If you don't already own a copy of the DVD, it's currently selling on Amazon for less than $10!

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5 comments for The Val Kilmer Saint Movie Ten Years Later


Blogger bobfer said...

Try this:
Is it true?

Monday, February 05, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

I would love to see Val Kilmer back! I'm a huge fan of The Saint movies and series!

Can't wait for more information!


Thursday, February 08, 2007  
Blogger Mike Hobart said...

In later life, Leslie Charteris said that he thought it was a mistake to update the period of the Saint and that it would be better to keep him in the 30s and 40s. How right he was! The Val Kilmer re-make seemed to have nothing in common with the Saint except the name. Charteris was dead by now and unable to exercise control over his character as he had in decades gone by -- it's somehow appropriate that his name doesn't seem to appear anywhere in the movie's credits.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007  
Blogger Charlie Parker said...

Usually when I read about movies original endings, I think "That was much better"... Not this time. That ending sounds trite, formulaic, and... Well let's not mince words, crap.

Sorely underrated movie IMO.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007  
Blogger Jerome A. Ecker, MD said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Monday, February 09, 2009  

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