The Saint's Return

The Saint's Return (released in the US as The Saint's Girl Friday) is a British crime thriller from 1953, produced by Hammer Film Productions in London.

For the Leslie Charteris novella collection with a similar title, see The Saint Returns.
The Saint's Return
US film poster with the US title
Directed bySeymour Friedman
Produced byAnthony Hinds
Julian Lesser
Written byAllan MacKinnon
StarringLouis Hayward
Naomi Chance
CinematographyWalter J. Harvey
Edited byJames Needs
Distributed byExclusive Films (UK
RKO Radio Pictures (US)
Release date
  • 15 April 1954 (1954-04-15) (US)[1]
Running time
73 min.


It premiered in London under the original title on 12 October 1953[2] and was distributed in the UK by Hammer Films own distribution company, Exclusive Films. It was released in the US by RKO under the US title on 15 April 1954.[2] The Saint's Return saw Louis Hayward, who had been the first actor to play Simon Templar in The Saint in New York in 1938, fifteen years earlier, return to the role one last time.

Although based upon Charteris' character, the film was an original work by British screenwriter Allan MacKinnon and not based directly on any of Charteris' stories. Charteris, however, had a percentage in the film.[3] It is the first filmed Saint production to feature the character of Hoppy Uniatz, Templar's assistant in the 1940s-era Saint books. Percy Herbert later played the character in at least one episode of the 1960s TV series.

This was the first Saint film to be released in ten years, following RKO's The Saint series 1938-1943, and Hammer Films had hopes to revive the series, but this did not occur. In 1960, a French-Italian film entitled Le Saint mène la danse, with Felix Marten playing The Saint, was released with very limited success. It was not until 1962 and the TV series The Saint, starring Roger Moore, that the character achieved lasting success beyond the literary world. The next English-language cinema film featuring the character wouldn't be released until 1997, with Val Kilmer playing the character in The Saint.


Critical reception

Derek Winnert called it "a very watchable British stab at reviving the series," adding that "With its neat plot and decent sly sense of humour, it is entirely entertaining, if only mildly." Of the actors, he wrote, "An ideal Hayward is aloofly smooth and suitably chilly in a role he created in the original film," concluding that "there’s a really good true Brit cast to support him."[4]


  1. "The Saint's Girl Friday: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  2. The Saint in Movies and Films Retrieved 2012-07-25
  3. p. 105 Barer, Burl The Saint: A Complete History in Print, Radio, Film and Television of Leslie Charteris' Robin Hood of Modern Crime, Simon Templar 1928-1992 McFarland, 2003
  4. "The Saint's Return [The Saint's Girl Friday] *** (1953, Louis Hayward, Naomi Chance, Sydney Tafler, Charles Victor, Harold Lang, Diana Dors, Jane Carr) – Classic Movie Review 3228 - Derek Winnert".
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