1 August 2014 | l_rawjalaurence
Brisk Little B-Thriller
One of the two Saint films that RKO made in Britain, THE SAINT'S VACATION is a brisk little tale in which the eponymous hero (Hugh Sinclair) successfully smuggles a box out of an unnamed Central European country, containing a vital device essential to Britain's future position in the World, aided and abetted by journalist Mary Langdon (Sally Gray) and amiable duffer Monty Hayward (Arthur Macrae). Looked at today, one cannot help but admire the way in which director Leslie Fenton makes use of very limited resources, in which stock footage is spliced together with studıo-bound sequences shot against very obvious backdrops. His main technique for sustaining our attention is through fast cuts between close-ups and two-shots, while encouraging his actors to play their roles to the hilt. Sinclair turns in a characteristically suave performance that contrasts with Macrae's cowardly Monty who perpetually desires a quiet life away from everything. Needless to say no one ever listens to him; and he is unwittingly drawn into the action when the Saint hides the box in Monty's traveling-bag. The husky-voiced Gray turns in a competent performance, even though she doesn't have much to do in the fight-sequences other than to put her hands up to her face in terror. Cast against type, Cecil Parker makes a good hissable villain with a penchant for turning his top lip up in distaste. He tries his best to remain detached from the action, leaving most of the dirty work to his sidekick Gregory (John Warwick). While the story might be unmemorable, THE SAINT'S VACATION offers several incidental pleasures for anyone looking to while away an entertaining hour.