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Devil's Bait (1959)

The police with the help of a baker try to find the owner a loaf of bread accidentally poisoned.


Peter Graham Scott


Peter Johnston (original screenplay), Diana Watson (original screenplay) (as Diana K. Watson)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Geoffrey Keen ... Joe Frisby
Jane Hylton ... Ellen Frisby
Gordon Jackson ... Sergeant Malcolm
Dermot Kelly Dermot Kelly ... Mr. Love
Shirley Lawrence Shirley Lawrence ... Shirley
Eileen Moore ... Barbara
Molly Urquhart Molly Urquhart ... Mrs. Tanner
Rupert Davies ... Landlord
Gillian Vaughan Gillian Vaughan ... Jenny
Barbara Archer Barbara Archer ... Switchboard Operator
Timothy Bateson ... Dentist
Noel Hood Noel Hood ... Mrs. Davies
Vivienne Bennett Vivienne Bennett ... Mrs. Graham
Jack Stewart Jack Stewart ... Dr. MacKenzie
John Abineri ... Undetermined Role


The police with the help of a baker try to find the owner a loaf of bread accidentally poisoned.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

December 1959 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Mr. Frisbys Ratten See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Independent Artists See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The role of Joe Frisby was first offered to Leslie Dwyer. See more »

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User Reviews

Nice Comedy-Thriller
29 July 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Baker Geoffrey Keene has rats in his store room, and the municipal rat catchers are away on their honeymoon. He's recommended Dermot Kelly who, unknown to Keene or wife Jane Hylton, uses potassium cyanide; even worse, when he breaks the dish he was going to lay poisoned bread in, he uses a baking pan and forgets to wash it out before he goes to spend his money on a spree. As a result, there's a poisoned loaf of bread among the fresh-baked offerings the next morning.

It was a very pleasant mix of comedy and terror. Rat-catcher Kelly, is one of those twee little fellows, playing a practitioner of one of the more grisly professions as the most inoffensive of alcoholics, as one might expect an undertaker or hangman to be in a comedy.

Like my mother used to say, it's all fun and games until someone eats a lethal dose of potassium cyanide and dies in agony, and the film maintains that black comic tone until one of the gossiping women in the shop chooses the deadly loaf and there's a blare to warn the inattentive audience that it's no longer a joke.

Could it have been done better? Yes. Have the women come in a group, gossiping, gossiping; baker's wife Jane Hylton saying "Why don't you choose your own loaf," and we don't know if it's still there, like the bullet in a game of Russian Roulette, until they leave, and the empty spot is revealed.

I'm sure the film makers toyed with the idea of calling this DEVIL'S BREAD, decided it wouldn't fit, because that's specifically hemlock, and settled on the actual coy title. Still, despite a couple of small issues, there's a lot to admire in this tiny British second feature.

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