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Dick Barton, Special Agent

UK 1948
produced by
Marylebone-Hammer
directed by Alfred J. Goulding
starring Don Stannard, George Ford, Jack Shaw, Gillian Maude, Beatrice Kane, Ivor Danvers, Geoffrey Wincott, Arthur Bush, Alec Ross, Farnham Baxter, Morris Sweden, Ernest Borrow
screenplay by Alan Stranks, Alfred Goulding, based on the BBC-radio-serial

Dick Barton

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Dick Barton (Don Stannard) & entourage arrive at a quiet little fiching town, where German villains Dr Casper (Geoffrey Wincott) & Schuler (Arthur Bush) - disguised as Swedes - are up to ... well, no good. So, even upon his arrival, they try to snuff Barton, but with little success. & Barton soon finds out they are doing some smuggling hiding the goods from lobsters they import from postwar Germany, but the stuff seems to be pretty harmless, just some jewellery ... except for a suspicious phiole. & as Barton's investigations go on, his 2 sidekicks, Snowey White (George Ford) & Scotsman Jock (Jack Shaw - complete with kilt & bagpipes) are abducted by the villains, & when Barton goes after them, he is only caught himself. But fortunately there is bright boy hero Snub (Ivor Danvers) who manages to free Snowey & & Jock, while Schuler gloats to a chained up Barton of how he & Casper - Nazi leftovers from the war - will poison all England with germs - kept in these suspicious looking phioles. Of course, after Schuler is off, Snub, Jock & Snowey free Barton, & he, with the help of the police, manages to spoil the villains plans.

 

This early post-war effort by Hammer was based on an immensely popular BBC-radio-serial. But while the radio programme is said to have been an exciting espionage show, its translation to the big screen proves to be less successful: Firstly the efforts to make a decent story are seriously hampered by the film's low budget - which is not always a diosadvatage, just in this case -, secondly the little action that is actually shown does not at all look convincing, the care the actors took in the fistfights not to hurt each other clearly translates to the screen, & finally, the thrown-in & basically unfunny comedy does greatly divert from the suspense plot, which also is not helped by rural, quiet, idyllic fishing town settings.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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special appearances by
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directed by
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written by
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produced by
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