Episode #21 - 2-9

The King of the Beggars

Maxine Audley - Dolores Marcello
Oliver Reed - Joe Catelli
Yvonne Romain - Theresa Mantania
Warren Mitchell - Marco Di Cesari
John McLaren - Stephen Elliot
Charles Houston - Leghetti
Jessie Robins - Maria Calvetti
Bruno Barnabe - Inspector Mateoli
Ronald Corbett - Call Boy
Cesare Maranzana - Italian Policeman
Gino Coia - Italian Policeman

Directed by John Gilling; Screenplay by John Gilling

Simon is in a street café in Rome. He watches with horror when a blind beggar is being killed by a mercedes. He then observes the place for a week before he notices another attack on a beggar woman. But the woman is not a beggar at all, she's the famous theatre actress Theresa Mantania who was a friend of the killed beggar. Templar disguises himself as a beggar. Soon he's picked up by two thugs who try to convince him that he has to join the 'Beggar Protection Association'. The boss of this organisation is the the mysterious "King of the Beggars". All traces lead to noble Stephen Elliot...

* Warren Mitchell also appears in Episode #2 "The Latin Touch and #12 "The Charitable Countess" (same role)
* The character of taxi driver Marco would later appear in the stories "A Shark for the Saint" in the Saint Annual 1967 and "All Lit Up" in the Saint Annual 1968.
* Oliver Reed also appears in Episode #36 "Sophia"
* Oliver Reed is a movie actor that appeared for example in "Gladiator" (2000)
* John McLaren also appears in Episode #15 "Judith" and #60 "Sibao"
* Charles Houston also appears in Episode #11 "The Man Who Was Lucky", #40 "The Miracle Tea Party", #100 "Invitation to Danger" and #113/114 "Vendetta for the Saint". He also appears in the episode "The Gold Napoleon" of The Persuaders
Another appearance of the bad guys' Mercedes...
   The same street side on the back lot was used three times in this episode for three different locations - the café, the other side of the street and the Albergo Capitale.
You can see the shadow of the boom microphone moving over Maxine Audley's head. (0:11)

Johnny Goodman about Oliver Reed: <<That was very funny in The King of the Beggars. We had a scene where he gets shot and Ollie at that time was heavily into the method acting - I'm a teapot and all that. So we did the scene, the shot rings out and Oliver Reed hurls himself backwards, as he's supposed to do to die. The director, John Gilling, says cut and we go to do the next set up. Then we hear this snoring noise. We look round and there's Oliver Reed spark out unconscious on the floor. Trying to be realistic, he'd given himself mild concussion. We had to carry him up to the dressing room and call for the doctor.>> (Simper, p.63)

Marco Di Cesari: "You know, Mr.Templar, sometimes I wish I had never met you ... and other times I still wish I had never met you."

UK: 14th November 1963

* VHS (PAL): ITC 1045 (1995)
* DVD (PAL): Umbrella DAVID0250 (2003)


Last Updated: 05/31/2004