• In this, the second "Saint" film, George Sanders takes over the role of Simon Templar and makes it his own (though Louis Hayward was excellent in the debut of the series). But even Sanders' talents can't make this a good movie. It's too confusing.

    At just 64 minutes, "The Saint Strikes Back" is packed with unexplained plot twists, huge helpings of comic filler and enough suspicious characters to form two football squads.

    In many an early detective novel, the writer included a list of characters, major and minor, so the reader could refer back to it when things got murky. Something like that would have helped a lot here. Maybe the characters could have worn name tags, or the actors could have used their real names.

    To make things worse, the ending is off-hand and anticlimactic, an utter dud. As a mystery fan, I felt cheated, and I rarely feel that way even when I've guessed the solution. Simon Templar might as well have said, "Enough of this case! Let's move on to another." Fortunately, Sanders' later "Saint" films were much better than this.