The Saint script
The Saint (1997)
Synopsis: Based on the popular spy series, this film follows suave international thief Simon Templar (Val Kilmer), who is contracted by Russian oil magnate Ivan Tretiak (Rade Serbedzija) to steal a formula for cold fusion. So Templar, nicknamed "The Saint" because of his use of Roman Catholic saints as aliases, finds scientist Dr. Emma Russell (Elisabeth Shue), seduces her and steals the information. However, because the formula was incomplete, Tretiak now wants to kill Templar and kidnap Russell.

FADE IN:

The majestic city and bay, as seen from the elevation of the surrounding Shan Ho hills as we SUPER

HONG KONG – 1965

PANNING away from the city, we come before the bleak facade of the SAINT IGNATIUS ORPHANAGE.

BOY'S VOICE (o.s.)

Simon Magus was a magician and sorcerer in uhhm... Sumatra.

INT. HONG KONG - SAINT IGNATIUS ORPHANAGE - DAY

Twenty boys, aged 7 to 12, sit at spartan desks, bibles raised. FATHER O'NEAL walks amongst them. A career Jesuit with razor eyes and thin lips. An awful man.

FATHER 0'NEAL

(sternly)

Sumeria. And what happened to him Francis?

FRANCIS, 12, is the eldest and largest boy.

FRANCIS:

Jesus' disciples came and performed miracles. When Simon Magus saw the miracles he offered disciple Peter gold for the powers of God.

FATHER 0'NEAL

What did disciple Peter say to that? Michael Quinn?

Father O'Neal stands before the youngest, littlest boy, who, unlike the others, exhibits no fear in his huge, intelligent eyes. Father O'Neal hates this boy.

The boy, MICHAEL QUINN, doesn't respond. Father O'Neal snatches his bible, revealing a SECOND BOOK hidden behind it.

It's a dime store pulp adventure with a gaudy cover entitled "THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR."

FATHER 0'NEAL

Answer the question Michael.

The little boy stares up at him.

MICHAEL QUINN:

That's not my name.

Father O'Neal yanks the boy from the chair. Drags him by the arm across the room and out into the corridor.

THE OTHER BOYS wait two seconds, then they spring up and run, en masse, to the door. Grouped in the threshold, straining for a good view, they watch as --

FATHER O'NEIL pulls Michael Quinn into an office down the corridor. The door has a stained-glass window.

It begins. We see it in SILHOUETTE: Father O'Neal with a CANE SWITCH in his hand, the boy beneath him. Down the switch comes. Again. And again. The boy YELPS. And again and again and again... and now he SCREAMS...

THE BOYS HUDDLED IN THE DOORWAY begin to wince. With every repeated, merciless descent of the switch...

INT. SAINT IGNATIUS ORPHANAGE - EATING HALL - NIGHT

THE BOYS sit at benches. Michael Quinn stares stoically ahead. The back of his shirt is striped with blood.

FATHER YIN, 50's, a Chinese Jesuit, grim in black frock and white collar, paces amongst the benches. Father O'Neal watches from the side.

FATHER YIN:

Why one child is born into a good home and another into poverty - that is but part of God's design. All of you are unwanted, put here because of the sins of your unwedded mothers. The church has fed you and educated you. Given you a home. A name. An identity.

Stopping before Michael Quinn, he points to a PORTRAIT ON THE WALL of a stern-faced Jesuit.

FATHER YIN:

Who is that, boy?

MICHAEL QUINN:

Father Michael Quinn.

FATHER YIN:

Yes. A great man. You ungrateful little cur, you will sit here without food until you appreciate your namesake.

(to the other boys)

All of you will sit with him. Put lunch away, Mr. Fong.

MR. FONG, the orphanage cook, wheels a FOOD CART into the kitchen and locks the door. Father Yin exits, followed by Father O'Neal and Mr. Fong, leaving --

A HUNDRED BOYS staring at Michael Quinn.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. ORPHANAGE - NIGHT

Again, Father Yin stands before Michael Quinn. The boys are seated for their evening meal.

FATHER YIN:

What is your name, boy?

Silence. Michael Quinn stares straight ahead.

FATHER YIN:

Put supper away, Mr. Fong.

MR. FONG wheels the FOOD CART into the kitchen and locks the door. Again, a hundred boys stare at Michael Quinn.

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Leslie Charteris

Leslie Charteris, born Leslie Charles Bowyer-Yin, was a British-Chinese author of adventure fiction, as well as a screenwriter. He was best known for his many books chronicling the adventures of charming antihero Simon Templar, alias "The Saint. more…

All Leslie Charteris scripts | Leslie Charteris Books

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