Dick Barton at Bay (1950)

Article 4364 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 11-12-2013
Directed by Godfrey Grayson
Featuring Don Stannard, Tamara Desni, George Ford
Country: UK
What it is: Spy thriller

A scientist who has invented a death ray that can explode planes from a distance is kidnapped by foreign spies. Can Dick Barton save the scientist and stop the spies?

This was the last of the three Dick Barton movies of the late forties/early fifties. It’s not as good as the previous movie in the series, but it’s still better than the slapdash first movie. The direction is competent (for a low-budget series thriller, that is) but uninspired. The biggest problem here is that the plot is purely routine, and the almost total lack of subtlety in the way it is put forth only serves the underscore its hackneyed nature. The fantastic content is the death ray, and it’s used twice; once in a lab demonstration, and once by the spies in a test of its use; it isn’t quite a Gizmo Maguffin, but it comes close. All in all, there’s nothing special about this one at all; it’s a time-killer at best.


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