British Agent is persued through a dockyard, reaching a phone box he is
able to pass a last, cryptic message to his colleague Dick Barton. In a
posh apartment,a Russian agent named Serge Volkoff greets the two
assassins before explaining to them his plan to kidnap the eminant
Professor Mitchell and his daughter. Mitchell, meanwhile, is
demonstrating his invention to ministers from the British War
Department, it is a ray that will explode fuel aboard a plane from a
distance of up to twenty miles. Realising something is amiss, Dick
Barton rushes to Mitchell's house but discovers that Volkoff and his
men have already been, and kidnapped the pair. Barton manages to track
the kidnappers to a warehouse and hiding in a truck, discovers their
Although the second film produced in the Dick Barton trilogy, Dick Barton at Bay was in fact released third, a year after the tragic death of lead actor Don Stannard. From the opening, it is clear that ...At Bay is a million miles away from the physical comedy of ...Secret Agent
(1948) and we get a much darker film overall. The storyline is pretty
standard with a bad guy trying to seize a powerful new weapon, although
the mood of the times is reflected in the Russian rather than German
villian. Pacing is slow and steady but doesn't drag allowing time to
build up a tense and action-packed finalé.
Godfrey Grayson was the new big name at Hammer Studios, directing 9
films between 1949 and 1950, including another radio-show adaptation The Adventures of P.C. 49 (1949). His direction here, although nothing revolutionary, is much better than ...Secret Agent
(1948) and makes the film flow easily, stock footage and location
shoots merge well with the studio interiors. A bigger budget also means
a full orchestral score is present for most of the picture, with the
Devil's Gallop theme tune cropping up in the action scenes.
Dick Barton At Bay
is a much better film than its predecessor. The plot is slow but builds
up well to a strong climax and the direction is decent. Partly
recommended to anyone who enjoys a good adventure film in the style of
the classic serials.
Anyone famous in it?
Don Stannard - the dashing star of all three of Hammer's Dick Barton films.
Directed by anyone interesting?
Godfrey Grayson - directed 9 early Hammer movies, including Jack the Ripper picture Room to Let (1950)
Some fist fights, nothing more.
Who is it for?
Fans of the spy/adventure serials should enjoy this early Hammer production.
An orchestral soundtrack fits the film well.
Original Aspect Ratio - 1.33:1 fullscreen. Black and White. The
print is of a relatively low quality. The picture is generally
very grainy like a television or VHS print and there are continual
speckles on the print. Distracting at first but should be watchable.
Similar to a public domain style print.
English language original mono sound. Clear for the most part but with some background crackling.