DICK BARTON STRIKES BACK (1949)
Article 3680 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-27-2011
Posting Date: 9-11-2011
Directed by Godfrey Grayson
Featuring Don Stannard, Sebastian Cabot, Jean Lodge
What it is: Science fiction espionage
When all life in some small villages is wiped out by an unknown power, Dick Barton is sent out to investigate. He believes it is some fearful new weapon developed by a foreign power.
Immediately after watching this movie, I went back and read my review of the first movie in the Dick Barton series, DICK BARTON , SPECIAL AGENT. I remember thinking that movie was quite awful, but I also remember being told that the sequels were much better. Having now seen one of them, I can attest to the fact that at least this one was a massive improvement. Most of the flaws that plagued the first movie are gone; in fact, the main problems I had with this movie was the occasionally clumsy use of background music, and the fact that some of the characters (both heroes and villains) act with amazing stupidity at times. Nevertheless, the movie has an interesting weapon, and its use at several times during the movie moves it into science fiction territory. It also builds up a fairly decent amount of suspense. It was also fun to see Sebastian Cabot sans beard in a villainous role here. Being an early Hammer film, it also has a certain similar feel to the Quatermass movies, though I wouldn’t put this one on their level; nevertheless, this is a solid and entertaining entry in the series. I also find myself wondering what the third movie in the series will be like.