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Bulldog Drummond at Bay

UK 1937
produced by
Associated British Picture Corporation
directed by Norman Lee
starring John Lodge, Dorothy Mackaill, Victor Jory, Claud Allister, Hugh Miller, Leslie Perrins, Richard Bird, Brian Buchel, Jim Gérald, Maire O'Neill, William Dewhurst, Frank Cochrane, Annie Esmond, Wilfrid Hyde-White
screenplay by Patrick Kirwan, James Parrish, based on the novel by Herman C.McNeile (= Sapper)

Bulldog Drummond

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Airplane constructor Caldwell (Richard Bird) is kidnapped by arms manufacturer Kalinsky (Hugh Miller) and his gang, who want to get their hands on Caldwell's latest warplane designs - but not before Caldwell can get a message to Bulldog Drummond (John Lodge), requesting his help. Interestingly, Kalinsky wants to sell his designs to a pacifist organisation that obviously believes peace can only be kept (or forced upon the enemies) by a big arsenal ...

Doris Thompson (Dorothy Mackaill) is a member of this organisation, and she is sent after Drummond, to find out what he knows, but Drummond quickly sees through her charade, turns the tables and uses her to get to those holding Caldwell. Doris soon falls for Drummond, too, and saves his life on one occasion - even if that means she has to have him booked on a rape charge. Of course, Drummond is quick to convince the authorities of his innocence, and soon enough, he and his sidekick Algie (Claud Allister) manage to track Kalinsky, Caldwell and company down, but in the course of this they are almost gassed and killed in many other ways.

Eventually, Kalinsky has a fall-out with his right-hand man Gregoroff (Victor Jory), for whom Kalinsky isn't ruthless anough, and to signal the advent of a new regime, Gregoroff throws Kalinsky off some cliffs to his death. By now though the police has closed in on him, so Gregoroff takes Caldwell's top secret war plane to make a clean getaway, not knowing that Caldwell has a remote control that can cut out the plane's engines. And thus, Gregorof's short regime ends with a bang.

In the end, Doris is revealed to be a secret service agent - and she also might be becoming Mrs Drummond very soon ...

 

Not entirely uncharming Bulldog Drummond adventure, held together by a fine cast, a likeable performance by John Lodge in the lead, and a reasonably fast pace ... yet none of this can obscure the fact that the story isn't too well thought through - actually there are more plotholes than one can count - and the character motivations are often left in the dark, especially Doris changes from capable agent to passive love interest way too quickly, and that she's revealed to be a secret service agent in the end just doesn't ring true. All that said, the film is an ok genre movie I guess, it just could have been way better if more time was spent on the script.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD