REVIEW: Dick Barton Strikes Back!

  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom
  • Duration: 73 Minutes
  • Format: Black and White
  • Released: 1948
  • Certificate: U (UK)

Character: Army Cadet (unnamed)

BART1Although PETER only makes a fleeting appearance in this film, as a completest project, I feel that it’s still necessary to include it on this ‘Site.

⇐PETER with Don Stannard and Bruce Walker

‘Dick Barton Strikes Back’ was the second of three films based on the radio series ‘Dick Barton Special Agent’. The trio of movies were quickly churned out by the newly-founded Hammer Films between 1948 and 1950. Directed by Godfrey Grayson, ‘…Strikes Back’ starred lantern-jawed Don Stannard as the former Commando-turned-secret-agent, with Bruce Walker as his sidekick, Snowey White, and Sebastian Cabot as the dastardly villain, Fouracada.   

Given that the film was produced in the post-war years, the story naturally reflects the issues of the day – namely a suspicion of Johnny Foreigner (the villains, unsurprisingly, have Middle-Eastern or South-American inflections), whilst the typically English characters (who have either Upper Class or Cockney accents) – are merely disgruntled at their inability to get a decent pint of beer in a Britain that was still under Rationing.

With the war now at an end, Barton finds himself at somewhat of a loose end, so when he’s approached by the powers that be to take on assignments that were deemed too sensitive for British Intelligence, he enlists the assistance of his two old Army chums, Snowey and Jock, who are only to happy to go along for the ride.

Although ‘Dick Barton Strikes Back’ was the last of a trio of films to be made, it was actually released between the other two films – ‘Dick Barton Special Agent’ (1948), and ‘Dick Barton At Bay’ (1950). There had been plans to make more films in the series, but that was until Don Satnnard died tragically in a car accident in 1949. His screen adversary, Sebastian Cabot, had been travelling in the same car, but had managed to escape virtually unscathed. BART2

You might be forgiven for thinking that you were watching an episode of ‘Department S’ when viewing the opening few minutes of ‘…Strikes Back’, as it reveals everything in secluded English village lying in silence, and all the inhabitants dead. As might be expected, Barton and Snowey are called upon to find out what the bally hell has been going on, and they soon find themselves on the tail of a band of travellers who lead them to the door of arch-villain, Delmonte Fourcada.

Fourcada, it emerges, is the henchman of a crazed scientist, who has developed a lethal Sonic Death-Ray that’s found to be responsible for wiping out the village. Alarmingly, the Ray is now being trained on London.

Despite their best efforts, Fourcada and his hoodlums always seem to be one step ahead of Barton and his colleagues, which inexorably leads to heaps of thrilling chases and lashings of exciting incidental music to accompany them. The story ends with a thrilling pursuit up Blackpool Tower no less, where Fourcada plans to signal his diabolical Sonic Ray to destroy the Capital. The bounder!

BART3

 

 

 

 

 

⇑ An original poster from the film

PETER’s ROLE

A VERY young PETER plays an Army Cadet, who descends a metal staircase at HQ to hand Barton and Snowey a futuristic-looking wire helmet, which proves invaluable to their solving the case. Hoo-rah! His appearance on screen last just a few seconds, and the character was unnamed in the credits.  


The Hellfire Club: The OFFICIAL PETER WYNGARDE Appreciation Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/813997125389790/

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