Hammer the Toff

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 Rollison, 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 Ernest G. Roy

Hammer the Toff
Directed byMaclean Rogers
Produced byErnest G. Roy
Written byJohn Creasey
StarringJohn Bentley
Patricia Dainton
Valentine Dyall
CinematographyGeoffrey Faithfull
Edited byJim Connock
Distributed byButcher's Film Service
Release date
  • March 1952 (1952-03) (UK)
Running time
71 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


On the train to the seaside resort of Brighthaven, Richard Rollison (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, Rollison 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.

Rollison 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, Rollison investigates, while Susan is being kidnapped and tied up. Rollison 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]

See also


  1. "Hammer the Toff / BFI Most Wanted". British Film Institute. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
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