The Saint News: April 2007

The Saint's Blog devoted to news and rumors about The Saint and Leslie Charteris. Simon Templar, alias The Saint, was played by Roger Moore in the 1960's TV show featuring the Volvo 1800.

Please e-mail any current news and rumors about The Saint to:  'saint' at this domain (saint.org)

Monday, April 30, 2007

Simon Dutton in Blithe Spirit at Watford Palace

Sue Evans, the Press and Marketing Officer at the Watford Palace Theatre, thought that the readers of The Saint and Leslie Charteris News Blog might be interested to know that Simon Dutton is about to star in a production of Blithe Spirit at Watford Palace Theatre.

Blithe Spirit is a 1941 comedy, written by Noël Coward, and plays from May 24th to June 16th with Simon Dutton.
Perfect entertainment for the summer.

Charles is a sceptic. He only sets up a séance as research for his latest comic novel. But inviting celebrated medium Madame Arcati into his home brings him more than he bargained for. Incredibly, the spirit of his beautiful but impossible late wife seems to want to take up residence in the marital home again. Which causes one or two problems with his current wife...

This sparkling comedy about how past relationships can come back to haunt you was written in 1941 when death was no joking matter and has become a comedy classic.
More info at www.watfordpalacetheatre.co.uk/pl57 or book your tickets now.

Watford Palace's Upcoming Schedule:
  • We That Are Left by Gary Owen, 19 April - 5 May
  • Blithe Spirit by Noël Coward, 24 May - 16 June
  • Hergé's Adventures of Tintin adapted by David Greig & Rufus Norris, 28 July - 11 August
  • Tim Supple's Indian A Midsummer Night's Dream, 10 - 15 September
  • Arabian Nights by Dominic Cooke, 26 & 27 October
  • The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht translated by Ranjit Bolt, 29 & 30 October
  • Jack and the Beanstalk by Joyce Branagh, 29 November - 6 January

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  • Wednesday, April 25, 2007

    The Saint on the Radio Detective Story Hour

    On Mon, October 2, 2006, The Saint was featured in Episode 66 of the Radio Detective Story Hour.

    This 42 minute show is available for download in MP3 format as a PodCast and features a brief description and history of Simon Templar, The Saint, and Leslie Charteris, with descriptions of the films, movies, books, and television shows.

    There is a brief interview with Dick Fiddy, author of So You're The Famous Simon Templar.

    It also features the complete March 4, 1951 radio episode, What-Not What Got Hot, with Vincent Price as The Saint.

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    Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    Wheels Within Wheels with Simon Dutton

    LeslieCharteris.com reports that if you wondered why you hadn't seen much of Saint Simon Dutton over the last few years, this could be why:

    From a pool hall in Portobello, via a dressing room in Glasgow to the mountains of Provence. Wheels within Wheels is the journey, actor Simon Dutton took in search of Tom Simpson, a sporting hero.

    A documentary made over a 4 year period. It chronicles Dutton, who, in a mid-life crisis decides to go off in the tracks of Simpson, the legendary British racing cyclist who tragically died in the 1967 Tour de France.

    The film follows Dutton on what turns out to be a pilgrimage… of sorts. Along the way expect humour, pathos, shaky camera work, vintage footage, and a few facts, all backed by an eclectic musical soundtrack. Saddle up and enjoy this well oiled chain of events!

    This documentary, following Simon Dutton in the tracks of the legendary racing cyclist Tom Simpson, is now available on DVD. It follows Simon Dutton on his quest as he meets up with people and places from the life of Tom Simpson.The film was shown at the 2006 cycle film season at the Riverside Studios in London to great acclaim and a positive review from London's Time Out magazine on January 25, 2006:
    A big-hearted, emotionally-charged tribute to British road racing cyclist Tom Simpson, who died near the summit of Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France. Actor Dutton visits friends and family before attempting the ride up Mont Ventoux himself to pay respects at Simpson's memorial. The movie may use home movie production values but at least Dutton and co-producer Shale have been imaginative with it. Indeed, so enearingly watchable is Dutton as a presenter that he should be given his own TV series. One of the most enjoyable cycling films to date. [Derek Adams]
    The DVD is available from The Bicycle Workshop in the UK.

    Wheels Within Wheels
    Simon Dutton, Lee Shale
    Running time: 1hr 2mins 26secs

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    Monday, April 23, 2007

    Mai-Kai Happy Talk Tiki

    Mai-Kai, The Polynesian restaurant was opened on December 28, 1957 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and is grandly celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

    Leslie Charteris was a regular to the restaurant when he lived in Florida in the 1960s, and even wrote a slightly infrequent column from 1965 to 1967 called Pehea Ka Piko for the in-house magazine, Happy Talk, in return for many delicious drinks and meals "on the house" at Mai-Kai, as Charteris remarked, "which is only the best of the luau and rum-drink emporia on this coast." Charteris went on to note that, "It is a wonderful commentary on today’s economics that this kind of barter deal gives me much more satisfaction than a monetary contract which might be worth many times as much."

    There is a Great forum with a large number of pictures and memories from the 50 years of Mai-Kai Happy Talk Tiki Tiki!

    The Mai-Kai Restaurant, The Polynesian Restaurant
    3599 N Federal Hwy
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
    (954) 563-3272

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    Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    The Dance of Death released on DVD

    One of the French Saint films, Le Saint Mène la Danse, from 1960 has been re-released by Turner Classic Movies on DVD and VHS under the title, The Dance of Death. Leslie Charteris did not think very highly of the film, and forbid it from all English-speaking countries. The producers were able to get around this restriction by changing the title and not mentioning The Saint at all when promoted the film -- it's just a strange coincidence that one of the character's has the name Simon Templar.

    After he's threatened by unknown killers, a playboy millionaire enlists the help of detective Simon Templar. Things soon get even creepier when prowlers are spotted on the grounds of the playboy's mansion, a guard dog is poisoned and the chauffeur is found brutally murdered. Felix Marten and Francoise Brion star in this French entry in "The Saint" series.

    Cast: Felix Marten, Francoise Brion, Jean Desailly, Clement Harari, Michele Mercier, Henri Nassiet

    Available: VHS or DVD

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    Thursday, April 12, 2007

    Kurt Vonnegut: 1922-2007

    I define a Saint as a person who behaves decently in an indecent society.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake

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    Thursday, April 05, 2007

    Your Google Maps Assignment for The Saint

    Google Maps has just released a My Maps feature that will allow anyone to create a custom map and publish it for the World to share. So, here's the project for someone out there: create a custom map of one of the following:
    1. All the locations that the Saint has visited in the Saint books by Leslie Charteris.
    2. All the locations used in filming any of the TV shows, along with screenshots of that location from the episode.
    3. All the locations used in any of the Saint movies, again with screenshots of the scene involved.
    4. A list of all the bars in the world named after The Saint.
    5. A list of great bookstores that specialize in mysteries and always have a good stock of Leslie Charteris on-hand.
    6. The birthplaces of famous people associated with The Saint, such as George Sanders, Roger Moore, Leslie Charteris, etc...
    Your assignment is clear. Create a map and tell us about in the comments below! As they are posted, I will create links to them!

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    Wednesday, April 04, 2007

    Val Kilmer To Make A Sequel To Real Genius

    According to Cinematical, Val Kilmer has signed on to do a sequel to the movie, Real Genius. While this isn't exactly The Return of The Saint for Val Kilmer, it was still a great movie.

    Read more

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    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    No Son of The Saint

    According to Roger Moore, his son Geoffrey will not be playing The Saint in the upcoming TV series on TNT. The following question came up in Roger's monthly column on his website, and as you can see by his answer the casting for Simon Templar is still wide open:
    Hello Sir Roger, Any idea how the new Saint project is coming along? Is your son still attached to it? As the Saint?

    My son Geoffrey co-owns the rights will Bill Macdonald. He will produce, not star. It's nudging along, but like everything else in this business, it takes an age to get things going. So time, patience and determination are the watch words...

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    Monday, April 02, 2007

    Burl Barer Captures The Saint

    Author Burl Barer has just posted some interesting notes on his novel, Capture The Saint, on his web blog:
    My original Saint novel, CAPTURE THE SAINT,is the only Saint novel in which the copyright rests with someone other than Leslie Charteris. That honor belongs to me. For that reason, television and movie producers often contact me about acquiring the rights to this singular adventure -- and then send a contract proposal that, in the fine print, give them all sorts of rights to which they are not entitled. This has happened more than three times in the past four years. The TV rights to the Saint character are currently in the hands of my buddy Bill Macdonald; Robert Evans has sequel rights to his Val Kilmer film, and RKO has remake rights to their old films. Capture the Saint, of course, is a wonderful book, written by a true genius and approved by the Estate of Leslie Charteris. The literary concept and execution of the novel (although the execution was not fatal) is that it replicates, chapter by chapter, the progression of styles used by Charteris between the 1930's and the 1950's. Actually, it begins in the style of the 1950's, then works backwards to the 30's and forward again --not in time, but in writing style. Of course, it's not a copy of Charteris' style exactly, but rather a combination of affectionate homage and occasional outright satire of Charteris' intentionally overwritten prose. He once said that this is what his readers paid for, much as Cadillac owners pay for the big fins and all that chrome. Striped of his verbosity and prolixity, he said, he was left with his skinny "fundaments" exposed. Before I wrote THE SAINT: A NOVEL (the movie tie-in) the publisher read CAPTURE THE SAINT, and said "today's readers are not sophisticated enough to get the humor. In the new novel for us, can you be less literary?" I replied, "You mean, dumb it down?" "Yeah, that's what we mean." Well, I don't think today's readers are dumb or not sophisticated enough to get my humor. However, I did alter the writing style for the novelization - more streamlined, etc. I wanted to keep Charteris' in-joke approach, but I needed a different way of pulling it off. Hence, I crammed the book with all manner of references to old Saint stories, characters, actors, titles, and even worked in the Bishop and the Actress in the first chapter.

    If you want a copy of CAPTURE THE SAINT, be prepared to pay well over $100.00. They are collectors items as the first edition was limited to 600 signed and numbered copies, and the second edition (from Volvo) was only 200 copies distributed at the international test drive of their new vehicles in, I believe, 1998 or 1999. [Search ABE Books]

    CAPTURE THE SAINT will be reprinted soon via The Authors Guild "Back in Print" program. And yes, movie and TV producers still call me about the rights. As Mr. Macdonald has the TV rights to the Saint character, it only makes sense to allow his company the opportunity to make a television adaptation. We will discuss this further in the near future...stay tuned and watch for the sign of the Saint...he will be back!
    Read and comment on this article at Burl Barer's blog.

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    Sunday, April 01, 2007

    Web Statistics for www.saint.org

    The saint.org website devoted to Leslie Charteris, Simon Templar, and The Saint has been up and running for almost 4200 days (more than 10 years), and the log file contains close to 21.3 million entries! Using Analog 6.0 for Macintosh, I have compiled and posted a complete statistical usage report for www.saint.org from October 18, 1995 through March 31, 2007.

    There are annual statistical reports for 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, and 1995.

    I have also posted single-month reports to get better insight into the month-to-month differences and trends:
    2007: Jan, Feb, Mar
    2006: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

    For extra credit, please comment below on any special insights you might have into what these statistics actually mean!

    For the past month it looks like that besides the main home page and the news blog, the top pages are about the The Saint on TV, The Saint's Volvo 1800, The Saint Films, and the Jensen Interceptor used in the Dutton series.

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