Dick Barton at Bay Film Details
Overview: Special Agent Dick Barton has been assigned to recover a kidnapped professor and de-activate a death ray before catastrophe occurs and World War III is declared.
Tagline: With one bound Dick was free
Review: Listen, old chap… Dick Barton at Bay was released as the third film in Hammer’s Dick Barton series, but was actually filmed second. It wisely ditches much of the silly comedy that made the first film such a chore, and also isn’t aimed so squarely at kids (although there’s still a spunky schoolboy to lend Barton a hand). It’s also a slicker production, with better editing and direction (Godfrey Grayson taking over the reins from Alfred J. Goulding). “Blimey guv”, you might be thinking, “this one’s actually jolly good, then!”, but even though it’s an improvement over its predecessor, it’s still got its fair share of problems: the script relies on some ridiculous contrivances and – by George – there’s too much blasted Englishness for my liking, the dialogue almost a parody of the British stiff upper lip. Don Stannard returns as the heroic special agent, this time tracking down some evil Eastern Bloc agents, led by Serge Volkoff (Meinhart Maur), who have stolen a deadly ray and kidnapped its inventor Professor Mitchell (Percy Walsh) and his daughter Mary (Joyce Linden). Together with his loyal sidekick Snowey White (George Ford), Dick engages in fisticuffs with a variety of henchmen, survives an attempt on his life by Asian hitman Chang (Yoshihide Yanai), and arrives at the villain’s lighthouse lair in the nick of time to prevent the rascal from blasting the West’s most important scientists out of the sky. The film’s most contrived moments include our heroes conveniently spotting Volkoff’s three-fingered henchman in a pub (what are the chances?), female villain Anna spying Dick at the crash sight of an airplane (darn it!), and Dick and Snowey finding a high-explosive firework in a box in the lighthouse – perfect for blowing a trapdoor off its hinges. It’s all just a bit too far-fetched, even for a Boy’s Own-style adventure. “Now look here, dear fellow,” you might say, “don’t be so hard on a film that is over 70 years old’. Don’t get me wrong, my good man… I’m not saying that the film is unwatchable – if you’re a fan of Dick Barton or Hammer films in general, this one’s just about worth a go – but watch Dick Barton Strikes Back if you want to see the special agent at his best. 4.5/10, rounded up to 5 for IMDb.
Duration: 68 min
Genre: Crime, Sci-Fi
Also known as: Dick Barton at Bay,Dick Barton greift ein,Dick Barton and the Ray of Death,Dick Barton und der Todesstrahl,Dødsstrålernes overmand