Third Party Risk

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Third Party Risk
American poster
Directed by Daniel Birt
Written byDaniel Birt
Robert Dunbar
Based on Third Party Risk by Nicholas Bentley
Produced by Michael Carreras
Starring Lloyd Bridges
Simone Silva
Finlay Currie
Cinematography Walter J. Harvey
Edited by James Needs
Music byMichael Krein
Distributed by Exclusive Films
Lippert Pictures (US)
Release date
  • 8 October 1954 (1954-10-08)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Third Party Risk is a 1954 second feature [1] British crime drama film directed by Daniel Birt and starring Lloyd Bridges, Simone Silva and Finlay Currie. [2] It is based on the 1953 novel of the same name by Nicholas Bentley. It was released in the United States by Lippert Pictures under the alternative title TheDeadly Game.



While holidaying in Spain, Philip Graham by chance runs into an old wartime RAF colleague Tony Roscoe, now a society photographer. The pair spend some time reminiscing, before Tony is urgently called back to England on business. Tony is required to fly home, so Philip offers to drive Tony's car back from Spain at the end of his holiday. Tony asks him to also pick up an envelope he has left in the hotel safe.

After Tony's departure, Phil is attacked in a case of mistaken identity while driving Tony's car. When he reports the attack, a local police inspector and a mysterious hotel guest Darius both tell him that since his discharge from the RAF, Tony has become embroiled in suspicious and probably criminal activities and has been under surveillance.

Back in England, Phil goes to return the car, only to find Tony dead on the floor of his darkroom. Phil becomes the prime suspect and, realising that the key to the case must be the contents of the envelope he has in his possession, sets about investigating on his own account. He quickly becomes drawn into a world of extortion and industrial espionage, focussed on a stolen medical formula which many people seem to want to get their hands on. Along the way he romances the enigmatic Mitzi and also falls into the sphere of influence of sultry temptress Marina. Developments lead him back to Spain, where he finally manages to crack the mystery.



The film was produced by Hammer Films at the company's Bray Studios in Berkshire with sets designed by the art director James Elder Wills.[ citation needed ]

Critical reception

In a contemporary review The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote: "There are disconcerting echoes from what may well have been an interesting book by Nicholas Bentley – an occasional line of dialogue giving a clue to character unrealised, dramatic irony felt at several removes – but unimaginative direction and handling of the Spanish scene and routine performances make this a somewhat dismal production. Lloyd Bridges and Maureen Swanson cope adequately with the leading roles, but Finlay Currie gives a curiously negative performance as Darius. All the ingredients for a good 'B' picture were here, but inexpert treatment has smoothed them down to a flat, moderately-paced thriller." [3]

In British Sound Films: The Studio Years 1928–1959 David Quinlan rated the film as "average", writing: "Unimaginative thriller lifted by a number of capable performances." [4]

Chibnall and McFarlane in The British 'B' Film wrote: "The film contained an exciting fight in a burning barn, but nothing could transcend a lifeless script and coventional plot." [1]

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  1. 1 2 Chibnall, Steve; McFarlane, Brian (2009). The British 'B' Film. London: BFI/Bloomsbury. p. 82. ISBN   978-1-8445-7319-6.
  2. "Third Party Risk". British Film Institute Collections Search. Retrieved 19 December 2023.
  3. "Third Party Risk". The Monthly Film Bulletin . 22 (252): 76. 1 January 1955 via ProQuest.
  4. Quinlan, David (1984). British Sound Films: The Studio Years 1928–1959. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd. p. 386. ISBN   0-7134-1874-5.