|Directed by||Peter Graham Scott|
|Produced by||Leslie Parkyn |
|Written by||Peter Johnston |
|Starring||Geoffrey Keen |
|Music by||William Alwyn|
|Edited by||John Trumper|
|Distributed by||Rank Film Distributors (UK)|
Devil's Bait is a 1959 British drama film directed by Peter Graham Scott and starring Geoffrey Keen, Jane Hylton and Gordon Jackson. It was a second feature, made for release by the Rank Organisation.
An incompetent rat-catcher leaves behind some of the poison he has used to eradicate rats from a small bakery, and the husband-and-wife bakery team inadvertently bake poison into a batch of bread. When they realize what they have done they try to retrieve the contaminated bread they have sold before anyone eats it.
- Geoffrey Keen as Joe Frisby
- Jane Hylton as Ellen Frisby
- Gordon Jackson as Sergeant Malcolm
- Dermot Kelly as Mr. Love
- Shirley Lawrence as Shirley
- Eileen Moore as Barbara
- Molly Urquhart as Mrs. Tanner
- Noel Hood as Mrs. Evans
- Rupert Davies as Landlord
Devil's Bait was selected by the film historians Steve Chibnall and Brian McFarlane as one of the 15 most meritorious British B films made between World War II and 1970. They note its narrative command and tension and the way the film moves forward "to a satisfyingly taut end – and one which leaves both narrative and character interests gratified". They particularly praise the two central performances: "The excellent performances of Hylton and Keen create a wholly convincing sense of two people whose relationship is under the strain of everyday irritations and who are imperceptibly drawn closer by the near disaster in which they are caught up."
- Chibnall & McFarlane, pp. 274-76.
- "Devil's Bait (1959)". BFI.
- Chibnall, Steve & Brian McFarlane, The British 'B' Film, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2009.