Alessandro Destamio (Ian Hendry) Character Card #51 – Produced in 2003 For The Saint ‘Vendetta For The Saint (1969)
Picture above: Ian Hendry (as Alessandro Destamio) in a scene from ‘Vendetta For The Saint’ (1969)
Picture: Note the typo on the card – Alessamdro! Alessandro Destamio (played by Ian Hendry) Character Card #51 – Produced by Carlton (2003).
Video clip: The Saint (Roger Moore) meets Alessandro Destamio (Ian Hendry) at the Villa – From Vendetta For The Saint (1969). Lovely opening line on this clip from Alessandro’s wife – Gina – played by Rosemary Dexter.
Background – Vendetta For The Saint (1969)
Vendetta for the Saint was adapted as a two-part episode of The Saint, and was broadcast during the programme’s final season on January 5 and 12, 1969. Roger Moore played Simon Templar and Ian Hendry played Alessandro Destamio. After the series ended, the two episodes were edited together as a movie that was distributed theatrically in Europe and was also released to TV and, much later, home video.
The TV series adapted a number of Charteris’ original Saint stories and novels during its run; Vendetta for the Saint was the last of these adaptations to be broadcast and the only one not based upon a solo Charteris work. It is also one of only four full-length novels to be adapted by the series.
This story is set on the Island of Sicily, where the Saint is confronted with the Italian Mafia. The story shows a slightly older, more mature Saint. Although still a formidable opponent for any criminal, he will not storm into action but choose his moments more carefully.
At the beginning, Simon Templar is on holiday in Naples when a small uproar on a lunch table draws his attention. An English tourist attempts to greet an Italian businessman as an old friend, but the Italian refuses to acknowledge the greeting and claims never to have met him. When the bodyguard of the businessman attacks the Englishman, the Saint intervenes and immobilizes the bodyguard. The Italians make their retreat and the Saint and the Englishman make their introductions to each other. The Englishman, Euston, claims that the Italian Businessman was his old friend Dino Cartelli. When Euston takes his leave, the Saint gives the incident no second thought.
The next morning, the Saint’s attention is drawn by an obituary in the local newspaper of an English tourist by the name of Euston. Apparently the man had an unfortunate accident. Remembering the previous day’s incident, the Saint is unable to accept this and starts an investigation into the identity of the businessman. He discovers that Dino Cartelli was known as a faithful bank employee, who was brutally murdered by bank robbers. Apparently, his face and hands were mutilated beyond recognition. He also learns that the businessman with the bodyguard goes by the name of Alessandro Destamio.
Scenes were entirely shot in Malta since the producers were actually afraid of shooting a Mafia movie on location in Naples/Sicily.
Vendetta for the Saint is a 1964 mystery novel featuring the character of Simon Templar, alias “The Saint”. The novel is credited to Leslie Charteris, who created The Saint in 1928, but the book was actually authored by Harry Harrison, a noted science fiction author who also wrote the syndicated Saint comic strip. Although Harrison wrote the majority of the book as a ghost writer, he indicates in an interview that Charteris did contribute to the final book (albeit in a very minor way).
Poster: Vendetta For The Saint (1969)
Editor, Official Website of Ian Hendry
A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography: