Bulldog Drummond Comes Back
directed by Louis King
starring John Howard, John Barrymore, Louise Campbell, Reginald Denny, J. Carrol Naish, E.E. Clive, Helen Freeman, Zeffie Tilbury, John Sutton, Rita Page, Phyllis Barry, Frank Baker
screenplay by Edward T.Lowe, based on the novel The Female of the Species by Herman C.McNeile (= Sapper), musical direction by Boris Morros
Bulldog Drummond, Paramount's Bulldog Drummond, Bulldog Drummond (John Howard)
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Hugh Bulldog Drummond (John Howard) just wants to propose to Phyllis
(Louise Campbell) when she is kidnapped by Irina Solanis (Helen Freeman) &
her associate, international con-man Mikhail Valdin (J.Carrol Naish), mainly
because Irina has a personal vendetta against Drummond, who sent her master
criminal husband to the gallows ... but Irina gives Drummond a fair chance ...
he can find Phyllis if he solves a series of riddles in time ... provided he
keeps Scoptland Yard - & especially his friend Colonel Nielson (John
Barrymore) - out of this.
So Drummond, together with his sidekick Algie
(Reginald Denny) & his butler Tenny (E.E.Clive) follows a series of laid
out clues, which leads to a rural inn, to Limehouse - including a swim in River
Thames - back to Drummond's own manor, then again to the rural inn, &
finally to an abandoned manor - with Colonel Nielson, in various disguises,
alwas just one step behind.
In the manor, Drummond & Algie can finally
find Phyllis (in the torture dungeon), but have to realize they have gone into
a trap, as all three of them are locked in & aboutt o be gassed. But thank
god for Tenny, has stayed behind a bit & is now able to break them free,
& thank god to Scotland Yard, who have succeeded in keeping pace with
Drummond & can now arrest Irina & Mikhail ...
There are no 2
ways about it, the script for this film is very weak (mildly put) as the
narrative logic is thrown out of the window in favour of bringing together as
many genre mainstays (villains giving clues to their crimes in a series of
riddles, one of the good guys donning a series of disguises, trap doors,
torture dungeons, a visit to Limehouse, ...) as possiibly in barely an hour of
running time but somehow this movie, filmed at a considerable pace & deeply
rooted in pulp fiction, still provides good if mindless entertainment, as long
as you don't think about the onscreen goings-on too much.