Dick Barton Strikes Back

1795. DICK BARTON STRIKES BACK (1949-England). With don stannard, Sebastian CABOT. Here is popular radio detective Dick Barton’s second go-around as a big-screen hero. The result is more serious in tone than its predecessor, but is equally spine-tingling. Barton sets out to track down a devilish gang Of villains who have in their possession a complex device that is capable Of producing atomic energy: a device so deadly that “the atomic bomb is child’s play” compared to its power. As the film opens, an investigator who’s been on the trail Of the gang meets his demise just after making contact with Barton; our hero will have to work especially fast on this one, before all England is bombed back to the Stone Age. He’s baffled at firstÑbut then an entire village is mysteriously obliterated, with the Jives Of its citizenry extinguished in a horrible instant. The detective travels to the town, to begin piecing together clues. “Now listen carefully, Barton,” his superior informs him. “The safety Of the nationÑ possibly the entire worldÑ depends upon your success.” His chief nemesis proves to be Fouracada (perfectly played by Sebastian Cabot), a fiendish fat man with the most sadistic laugh you’ve ever heard, and an ego as big as his considerable girth. 70 minutes. Adventure