This is the tenth Bulldog Drummond film, and the first starring John Howard, who was to make the character his own in memorable fashion. John Barrymore gets top billing, despite the fact that he is in only a supporting role, but then that's stars for you! Barrymore plays Inspector Neilson, which he was to do for two more films, but he looks tired and world-weary, in fact as if he had been on a binge the night before (which is not unlikely). Barrymore dons some excellent disguises during the film, with false noses and moustaches and odd accents, which must have delighted him. We have almost as much fun with them as he does. The boring Louise Campbell plays Phyllis Clavering, who is always about to marry Drummond but constantly being prevented from doing so by some new crime erupting, or being kidnapped, or whatever. (The next year the more exciting Heather Angel was to resume this role, which would be a great improvement.) E. E. Clive and Reginald Denny as Tenny the Butler and Algy respectively, are here again (having missed the intervening film with John Lodge as Drummond), and are as marvellous as ever. This film has an extra dimension of interest. The wonderfully sinister villains played here by J. Carroll Naish and Helen Freeman not only kidnap Phyllis but put Drummond, upon whom they seek revenge, through an ingenious 'treasure hunt' ordeal, where they leave him coy notes which he has to decipher quickly, and also gramophone records where he is given instructions on where to go and what to do next. This is certainly an excellent added layer of intrigue to a mystery story, and is a story device which should be used more often in films. It all becomes really interesting as we follow the frustrated Drummond from rendezvous to rendezvous, as he is 'given the runaround' with the clock ticking. There are of course comic moments, and a great deal of quaintness is on hand at the seaside tavern where you walk in, order your beer, choose a gramophone record and put it on the Victrola which is sitting on the bar. Never saw that before! The earliest form of jukebox! This is a particularly good Drummond movie, and is well worth watching.
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