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Episode 26: The King of the Beggars


"THE KING OF THE BEGGARS"

Why does a beautiful Italian actress go into the streets as a beggar? Who is
running a beggar's "protection racket"? To get to the bottom of these
mysteries, the Saint himself dons the guise of a beggar.

The Saint, Simon Templar (ROGER MOORE), is puzzled when, in Rome, he sees a
beggar deliberately run down by a car. From that moment onwards, his
interest in the ragged poor is keen enough to make him wonder why a beggar
woman who apparently occupies a regular beat should never be there at night
or on Saturday afternoons. It doesn't take him long to make a shrewd guess,
which proves to be right when he goes to her aid after seeing her being
followed down an alley-way and threatened by a man he later knows as Joe
Catelli (OLIVER REED). She is one of Rome's leading actresses, Theresa
Mantania (YVONNE ROMAIN). She claims that she has been setting a trap, with
herself as bait, to find out the truth about the Beggars' Protection
Association which, she says, was responsible for the killing the Saint had
witnessed. The victim was an old friend of hers - a former actor, down on
his luck, who had refused to pay over protection money.

The Saint takes over from her and becomes a beggar himself, plunging into an
adventure which takes him, surprisingly enough, not only into the underworld
but into Rome's social strata.

He, too, is approached by Joe Catelli, and is sworn in as a member of the
"society". But who is the mysterious King of the Beggars? It could be a
wealthy American, Stephen Elliot (JOHN McLAREN), who admits to being the
owner of an albergo which is used as the venue for collecting money from the
beggars and run by a woman named Maria Calvetti (JESSIE ROBINS). Elliot says
it is a place where he can give the unfortunates a clean bed and a wholesome
meal.

There is mystery surrounding Maria Calvetti, who tricks the Saint by putting
dope in his drink. And where, the Saint wonders, does the beautiful Countess
Dolores Marcello (MAXINE AUDLEY), Elliot's friend, fit into all this?
Catelli claims that he is only an agent for the King, but this could be a
bluff. Theresa Mantania's activities are suspicious, too, and when she
suddenly disappears, the Saint finds himself on the verge of meeting a
watery death in a sewer. His foresight, however, saves his life and leads to
uncovering the real "King of the Beggars".



CAST

Starring

ROGER MOORE as SIMON TEMPLAR

With

Guest Stars
MAXINE AUDLEY as DOLORES MARCELLO
OLIVER REED as JOE CATELLI
YVONNE ROMAIN as THERESA MANTANIA

and

WARREN MITCHELL as MARCO
JOHN McLAREN as STEPHEN ELLIOT
CHARLES HOUSTON as LEGHETTI
JESSIE ROBINS as MARIA CALVETTI
BRUNO BARNABE as INSPECTOR MATEOLI
RONALD CORBETT as CALL BOY
CESARE MARANZANA as ITALIAN POLICEMAN
GINA COIA as ITALIAN POLICEMAN

Produced by Robert S. Baker and Monty Berman
Directed by John Gilling
Screenplay by John Gilling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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