At long last here is the promised post to complete the discussion of Glamorous George as The Saint.
RKO released “The Saint in Palm Springs” in early 1941. Comely George had just begun to have his hair cut shorter and with a part on the right. It is SO short you can barely see his pretty curls! :-( I believe this is the first movie Lovely George filmed after he introduced the “new look” of his hair because in the other films released in 1941 his hair was slightly longer. Check out Rage in Heaven, Man Hunt, Sundown, and The Gay Falcon and you will see. In Palm Springs if you look closely at Dazzling George (and who wouldn’t :-D ) in some scenes you can see his cute little cowlick.
I was curious to see if Palm Springs really was the first Handsome George film released in 1941 so I checked the release dates for all the 1941 films and I AM correct. Palm Springs , which was filmed from 1 October 1940 to 11 November 1940, was released on 24 January 1941, Rage on 7 March 1941, Man Hunt on 13 June 1941, Gay Falcon on 24 October 1941, and Sundown on 31 October 1941.
In addition to the plot synopsis on the IMDb, to which I referred you in the link above, there is a very nice overview presented on the Turner Classic Movies database. Also, TCM has an article about Saint George and Palm Springs, presumably because the movie will be airing on TCM in December. Charteris described The Saint as being “imperturbable, debonair [and] preposterously handsome”. Certainly Stunningly Handsome George was made for the part because this description fits him perfectly–particularly the preposterously handsome part!
Wendy Barrie appears again as Alluring George’s love interest in this her third Saint movie. Lucky girl!! However, poor Wendy does not get a kiss in this movie but watch for the scene in which Seductive George, after he and Wendy have dinner, woos her on the patio. It is a yummy scene. See if you don’t agree with me.
We only see Inspector Fernack (Jonathan Hale) briefly at the beginning of the film when he explains to George how he needs The Saint’s help.(note that Fernack seems to have grown some new hair–no wait, he is wearing a hairpiece :-) ) It seems that Fernack’s old war buddy, Chris Johnson, from WWI, who had saved Fernack’s life, now needs Fernack’s assistance. Chris had used his personal fortune to purchase three very rare Guiana penny stamps and had his brother, Peter, smuggle them out of the country to bring to the United States and deliver to Chris’ daughter, Elna (played by Wendy), in California. Two attempts had been made on Peter’s life since his arrival in the US and Fernack wants The Saint to escort the Peter and the stamps to California to give to Elna. Saint George is reluctant until Fernack tells him about the murder attempts. Intrigued by the adventurous aspects of the situation, and smelling a whiff of danger, Intrepid George agrees to undertake the mission.
Good-Looking George arrives at Peter’s hotel room. After some discussion Peter goes to the bedroom safe to retrieve the stamps, leaving Pulchritudinous George sitting on the sofa in the living room. While getting the stamps Peter is shot to death and the villian enters through the window to be met by Corageous George. They engage in fisticuffs but the villian escapes. Fernack is called in and Fearless George leaves to deliver the stamps to Elna in Palm Springs.
In the scenes setting up the plot we get to see Dapper George in his new, white trench coat, in which he looks darling. I know it is new because I take careful note of coats that Fashionable George wears and this is the earliest movie in which he wears this particular coat. You also can tell that it is new because in the scene with Peter at the hotel George has a little difficulty removing the coat because it is somewhat tight, as new coats tend to be. We see this coat again in later movies such as Rage In Heaven, Appointment In Berlin , and Lured.
Paul Guilfoyle makes his second appearance as Pearly Gates. This time Pearly is the house detective at the Palm Springs hotel where George and Margaret Forbes, whose acquaintance Charming George cultivated on the train trip to Palm Springs– well, you know George’s fondness for lovely women– are staying. Margaret Forbes ( Linda Hayes) is actually an agent from the country from which the stamps were smuggled and is intent on getting them from Gorgeous George. The murderer of Peter is staying at the hotel with his gang and is also seeking the stamps. I won’t go into further details about the plot but will simply say that the stamps are stolen from George but, of course, he recovers them and delivers them to Elna, whose heart has been stolen by Enticing George. Naturally, she is left watching sadly as Sexy George rides out of her life.
Palm Springs is a fun movie to watch. It is such a pleasure to see George having a good time, riding a bike, riding a horse, and playing tennis. George soundly trounces Wendy on the tennis court, and SHE is a tennis teacher. Well, she was probably so mesmerized by Sinfully Handsome George that she was unable to watch the correct ball. :-) I sure would have been! George is gorgeous in his tennis outfit with that nice white t-shirt that shows clearly what glorious shoulders George has! And Statuesque George’s legs are so long that he just steps over the tennis net. What a Man!
Well, enough about The Saint. I wll be writing some posts about The Falcon series soon, but first I have some thoughts for two other, possibly shorter, posts. The restored version of Journey to Italy will be shown at the National Gallery of Art Theatre here in Washington on Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14. Naturally I will be going to both showings. The movie was restored by L’Immagine ritrovata, Bologna , in collaboration with CSC—Cineteca Nazionale, Rome . I am hoping the restored version will be released on dvd in the near future. I have sent an email to a press officer at CSC—Cineteca Nazionale, Rome asking if they plan to do so.
Also I have found out that Journey was shown at the Cannes Film Festival last May.
Anyway, all this has inspired me to write a post discussing this movie and the first movie George made with Ingrid, Rage In Heaven , in 1941. The second post will be one about the movies featuring European George with the buzz cut.