The Saint (1969) – Vendetta For The Saint (Film)
In 1969, Ian Hendry (as Alessandro Destamio) played opposite Roger Moore (as Simon Templar) in the television (and later film) adaptation of Vendetta For The Saint.
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 Charteris is sometimes credited as co-author of the book, Harrison’s official website indicates that the novel was fully ghost written by Harrison.
The reference work The Saint: A Complete History by Burl Barer, however, indicates that Charteris was heavily involved in editing the book. This was the first Saint volume published after Charteris chose to step back from actively writing the adventures, and would be followed by a number of books credited to Charteris but actually written by other authors; Charteris would, however, continue as editor of the books, approving stories and revising material when needed. These books would be mostly based upon teleplays from the TV series or scenarios from the comic strip; the next wholly original Saint literary stories wouldn’t be published until the novella collection Catch the Saint more than a decade later.
Vendetta for the Saint was the first full-length Saint novel published since The Saint Sees it Through was published 18 years earlier.
Television Adaptation and Film
In 1969 a television adaptation of the novel (see below for details) was released as a theatrical film, also entitled Vendetta for the Saint.
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.
Scenes were entirely shot in Malta since the producers were actually afraid of shooting a Mafia movie on location in Naples/Sicily.