“Dick Barton, Special Agent” (1948)
This first of three film productions attempting to replicate the zing of the popular Light BBC radio serial is more a product of creative corporate accounting than a legitimate attempt at producing a serviceable movie thriller, “Dick Barton, Special Agent” arrives on the big screen with a built-in popularity usually reserved for much more expensively sought literary bestsellers or hit theatrical properties. Produced quickly and cheaply, the film makes no pretense at artful or even minimal competency in the moviemaking process. Rather, the filmmakers seem entirely satisfied with aiming with what they obviously perceive as the less demanding tastes of juvenile matinee audiences and, indeed, the condescension shown toward their target demographic is appalling.
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