Hammer the Toff

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Hammer the Toff
Directed by Maclean Rogers
Written by John Creasey
Produced by Ernest G. Roy
Starring John Bentley
Patricia Dainton
Valentine Dyall
Cinematography Geoffrey Faithfull
Edited by Jim Connock
Distributed by Butcher's Film Service
Release date
  • March 1952 (1952-03)(UK)
Running time
71 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Hammer the Toff is a 1952 British crime film directed by Maclean Rogers and starring John Bentley and Patricia Dainton. The film was based on the 1947 novel of the same name by John Creasey, the 17th in the series featuring upper-class sleuth Richard Rollinson, also known as "The Toff". This film and another Toff adaptation Salute the Toff were shot back-to-back at Nettlefold Studios in the summer of 1951 with identical production credits and many of the same actors. Hammer the Toff was issued to cinemas in March 1952 as the sequel to Salute the Toff. There would be no further entries in the series of films. Although it was once considered lost, appearing on the British Film Institute's "75 Most Wanted" list of missing British feature films, [1] it was released on DVD in March 2016. It was produced by Ernest G. Roy.



On the train to the seaside resort of Brighthaven, Richard Rollinson (Bentley) is sharing a carriage with an attractive young lady called Susan Lancaster (Dainton). The journey is rudely interrupted when the window of the carriage is shattered by a barrage of bullets. Richard learns from the shaken Susan that she is on her way to join an uncle on holiday, and offers to escort her safely to her hotel. They learn that her uncle has disappeared, but has left Susan a package. Later, Rollinson happens to overhear a pair of shady characters discussing how to kidnap Susan. She explains that her uncle has developed a secret formula which sinister characters are keen to get their hands on, and they have been receiving threats of menace, hence the flight to Brighthaven.

Rollinson consults his old colleague Inspector Grice of Scotland Yard, who tells him that the evidence is pointing in the direction of a particular man as being responsible for the abduction. Using his friends and contacts in the East End, Rollinson investigates, while Susan is being kidnapped and tied up. Rollinson finally succeeds in identifying the criminals and their leader "The Hammer", releasing Susan and proving that the man suspected by the police is innocent.



Like its predecessor, Hammer the Toff was well received by critics as good quality popular B-movie entertainment. Kine Weekly described it as "well staged, with a bright line in dialogue, and neat crime angles", while the Daily Film Renter termed it "lively, easily-assimilated strong-arm stuff with a whiff of comedy and a dash of romance". [1]

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  1. 1 2 3 "Hammer the Toff / BFI Most Wanted". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2010.