Dick Barton Strikes Back (1949)

The exciting but slow paced final film in Hammer Film's Dick Barton spy trilogy. DD-Video R2 DVD from the Dick Barton boxset.

The Film

Dick Barton and Agent Creston are tracking a mysterious man named Alfonso Delmonte Fourcada who is arriving into the UK from Prague. Creston arranges to meet Barton at a nightclub, but when Barton explores he discovers the agent dead and is captured by Fourcada - only just escaping with his life. Their investigation is put on hold when word comes in of an entire town in the North of England, killed without a trace. Barton is sent to investigate, and discovers that a group of Hungarian gypsies lead by Fourcada have developed a super-weapon and are setting out to kill the population of England. Barton has to track down the gypsies and save Britain...

Although the third film produced in the Dick Barton trilogy, Dick Barton Strikes Back was in fact released second. Again distancing itself from the comedy tones of Dick Barton: Special Agent (1948), Strikes Back goes for a dark and often grim tone (hundreds of people are killed in the towns). The pacing and flow of the film are similar to Dick Barton at Bay (1950), the villains are identified early on, although their motives remain vague at first, and the storyline builds up to a strong climax, with numerous attempts made on Barton's life. As in the original radio series, there are frequent cliff-hangers and impossible situations that Barton has to escape from plus some unexpected twists. Only the ending is a slight let-down with a drawn-out fight sequence and a rather anti-climactic finish.

Director Godfrey Grayson returns from Dick Barton at Bay (1950) and brings similarly solid direction with a few odd camera-angles to liven up the mix. The direction of the final sequences on location are very impressive and there is a huge cast of extras on hand. An orchestral soundtrack provides good backing to the action scenes.


There are no big name actors on the cast list, Don Stannard returns as Dick Barton for the last time and fits the suave but action-packed role very well. The actor playing Snowey is changed, although his character remains the same. You might recognise occasional Hammer supporting actorJohn Harvey as an army major and Disney voice actor Sebastian Cabot as the villianous Fourcada.

Dick Barton Strikes Back is the most impressive picture of the trilogy and has a plot that is interesting and exciting for the most part, as well as strong direction and editing and a decent soundtrack.

In Brief

Anyone famous in it? Don Stannard - the star of all three of Hammer's Dick Barton films, in his final film appearance here.
Directed by anyone interesting? Godfrey Grayson - directed 9 early Hammer movies, including Jack the Ripper picture Room to Let (1950)
Any violence/gore? Some fist fights and a little blood.
Any sex? None.
Who is it for?
Fans of the spy/adventure serials should enjoy this early Hammer production.
Good soundtrack? An orchestral soundtrack fits the film well.


Visuals Original Aspect Ratio - 1.33:1 fullscreen. Black and White.
The print quality is good for the most part lot of details, but almost continual speckling. Occasional scenes are much darker or lighter than normal and there are some dropped frames, but the film is never unwatchable.
Audio English language original mono sound. Clear for the most part, but some hiss and crackling and drop-outs.
Subtitles None.
Run-timeFeature: 1hr 07m 50s (PAL)
Extras None on the disc, see boxset for more.
AvailabilityOnly avaliable in the Dick Barton Trilogy boxset.
Region Region 2 (UK, Europe) - PAL
Other regions? None known.
Cuts? None known.



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All text in this review written by Timothy Young - 11th July 2006.
Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

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