Dick Barton at Bay – 1950
A Marylebone-Hammer production released by Exclusive Films
“The Sensational B.B.C. Serial”
From a story by Ambrose Grayson by arrangement with Ted Kavanagh Associated
Black & White 68 minutes
For the third time, villainous vermin and their heinous henchmen learn the hard way not to cross the path of super-smooth special agent Dick Barton. Here he struts his inimitable stuff, along with ever-loyal protege Snowey White, as they tackle fanatical foreign anarchists who kidnap a leading scientist and his daughter. The daring duo’s search leads them to the gang’s headquarters in a lighthouse at Beachy Head, from where they plan to use a deadly ray to blow up an aeroplane carrying members of a critical military defence mission.
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The “Dick Barton” series might well have continued, but for the untimely death of its star, Don Stannard, in a car crash at the age of 33.
Look out for an early role for Patrick McNee (John Steed in ABC TV’s “The Avengers”) in this film. You’ll have to be quick to catch him, though, as his character, Phillips, is killed off in the first five minutes (and that includes the opening titles!)