- X 2019
Samuel Goldwyn for Howard Productions
directed by F. Richard Jones
starring Ronald Colman, Claud Allister, Lawrence Grant, Montagu Love, Wilson Benge, Joan Bennett, Lilyan Tashman, Charles Sellon, Adolph Milar, Tetsu Komai, Gertrude Short, Donald Novis, Bill Johnson, Tom Ricketts
screenplay by Sidney Howard, Wallace Smith, based on the novel and play by Herman C. McNeile (as Sapper)
Bulldog Drummond, Bulldog Drummond (Ronald Colman)
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Tired from being infinitely rich and having nothing to do in the
peacetime, World War I veteran Hugh Drummond (Ronald Colman) puts an ad
into the papers offering his services for adventurous propositions - and
it's not long before Phyllis (Joan Bennett) asks him to help her save her
uncle Travers (Charles Sellon), who's apparently held at a mock hospital
by creepy and torture prone Dr Lakington (Lawrence Grant), pompous masster
criminal Peterson (Montagu Love) and his "sister", femme fatale
Irma (Lilyan Tashman), who want Travers to sign over a vast fortune in
bonds to them. At first, Drummond thinks it's only a joke, but when he
meets Lakington a short time after his encounter with Phyllis and he tells
him unmistakably that he ought to keep out of the whole case, Drummond
knows the girl needs real help and pays a visit to the
"hospital" and sees Phyllis is already held as a sort-of hostage
there, he first uses his charms and bag-of-tricks to get her out of there,
then manages to snatch Travers from right unter their noses as well - but
Peterson and gang soon find Drummond's trail and force him to give up
Travers ... only it's not Travers Drummond's giving up but himself
instead, in the guise of Travers. Now when he's found out Drummond doesn't
give up Travers' location easily, but when Lakington starts torturing
Phyllis (whom the villains have kidnapped again), he can't but talk ...
but he leads Peterson and Irma into a dead end while somehow getting the
upper hand on Lakington, whom he strangles, then even lures Peterson into
a trap - but Peterson has a bag of tricks of his own, so he and Irma get
away. But at least, Drummond gets the girl ...
undeniable that this movie, the first Bulldog
Drummond talkie shares the problem with many an early talking
picture: It's very much on the static side due to the bulky sound
equipment used, not all the actors are perfectly adapted to sound yet, and
the lack of incidental music makes some scenes somewhat stale - but that
said, it's still a fun little vincent movie, the action moves along rather
lively, the dialogue is poignant, and Colman in the lead really brings the
somewhat self-ironic nature of Drummond across beautifully.
Fans of the
books and/or vintage movies are sure to like this one!