The Saint, 1997


Phillip Noyce


visit the film locations

London: flights: Heathrow Airport; Gatwick Airport

Stay at: the Renaissance Chancery Court London, 252 High Holborn, London WC1 (tel: 020.7829.9888)

Oxford: Rail: From London Paddington

Visit Oxford

Oxford City Tourism

The Trout Inn, 195 Godstow Road, Lower Wolvercote, about three miles northwest of the city (tel:01865.554485)

Moscow: flights: Moscow Domodedovo International Airport; International Airport Sheremetyevo


The rather severe-looking New Royal Horticultural Hall was also ‘Berlin Airport’ in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

The Saint location: The Trout Inn, Wolvercote, Oxfordshire

The Saint location: the charming riverside pub: The Trout Inn, Wolvercote, Oxfordshire

Val Kilmer is Simon Templar, the master criminal who has amassed almost $50 million by use of false moustaches and a string of instantly traceable names; Elizabeth Shue is Dr Emma Russell, the Oxford professor who, having solved the world’s fuel problems, carries the formula in her underwear. So much more fun for Simon than rummaging through Stephen Hawking's Y-fronts, eh?

The Saint location: The Halcyon, Holland Park, London W11

The Saint location: Simon Templar’s London hotel: the old Halcyon, Holland Park, London W11

While Hitchcock might have floated this unlikely material effortlessly, this misfire is sunk by a soggy ballast of cod psychology. The Saint’s London base was the starry Halcyon Hotel, 81 Holland Park, W11, at the time a discreet hideaway for Hollywood royalty and visiting rock stars in Holland Park, West London, it’s since closed to become a private home.

Dr Russell works out of Queen’s College, High Street, Oxford; in order to seduce her, Templar poses opposite the white marble Shelley Memorial in University College, High Street. The statue, designed by Edward Onslow Ford, was intended for the poet Percy Shelley’s grave in the English Cemetery, Rome, but proved too large and was presented to the college by Shelley’s widow in 1894. See it in the domed chamber reached by a passageway in the northwest corner of the quad.

The riverside pub in which Russell gets all soppy with ‘St Thomas More’ is the Trout Inn, a beautiful 17th century hostelry (where TV’s Inspector Morse downed the occasional pint, and before him, both CS Lewis and Lewis Carroll) at 195 Godstow Road, Lower Wolvercote, about three miles northwest of Oxford.

The Saint location: New Royal Horticutural Hall, Westminster, London SW1

The Saint location: ‘Berlin Templehof’: New Royal Horticultural Hall, Westminster, London SW1

‘Berlin Templehof Airport’ is actually Westminster’s New Royal Horticultural Hall, on the corner of Greycoat and Elverton Streets in Westminster, SW1 (it was a Berlin airport, too, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).

The Saint location: Red Square, Moscow

The Saint location: Simon Templar escapes: Red Square, Moscow

Photograph: Steen Mangen

The real exotic location filming is in Moscow’s Red Square, where Templar escapes from the first chase, and looking stunning illuminated at night for the would-be miraculous climax. The Moscow hotel is the 1956 ‘Stalin Gothic’-style Peking Hotel, 1/5 Bolshaya Sadovaya Street. Filming in Moscow also took place at the Foreign Affairs Ministry building; at the Aerostar Hotel and at Leningrad Station.

Interiors, though, are London again. ‘Tretiak Oil & Gas Industries Moscow HQ’, where the billionaire oil magnate stages his televised press conference, is the Draper’s Hall, Throgmorton Street, EC2 in the City of London. It became a Russian interior again for GoldenEye. The hall isn’t generally open to the public.

The ‘Russian’ hotel lobby, where Russell catches up with Templar (not too hard a task, since all his aliases are the names of Catholic saints), is the Renaissance Chancery Court London, 252 High Holborn, London WC1, housed in the magnificent old Pearl Assurance Building, seen also in the 1995 Richard III with Ian McKellen and in the Merchant-Ivory production Howards End.

The Saint location: The Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

The Saint location: Dr Russell reveals her secret to the world: The Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

The finale, with Dr Russell revealing her secret to the world, is supposedly in Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre. The exterior is real enough, with Templar chased out past the Clarendon Building into Catte Street. The Sheldonian, surprisingly, stood in for ‘Harvard’ in Michael Cimino’s epic Western Heaven’s Gate.

Scenes were also shot at Harrow School, Greater London (which provided Hogwarts classrooms for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone); and at Fort Amhurst, Chatham, Kent.

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