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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Very good Bulldog Drummond adventure, solid and engrossing

Author: robert-temple-1 from United Kingdom
29 April 2008

This was the ninth Bulldog Drummond film, and the only one starring John Lodge as Drummond. In 1937 it was one of three Drummond films, each of which had a different leading man; in succession these were: Ray Milland, John Lodge, and John Howard. Only Howard ever made another, and he became a regular. Lodge was a remarkable man, who later became a US Congressman and Governor of Connecticut (and his brother Henry Cabot Lodge ran for Vice President). As a 'Boston Brahmin', the handsome Lodge had the easy manner and social charm to make a fine leading man, and he could act well enough as well. However, he was not a particularly good Hugh Drummond, because he did not have the sense of mischief, the wildness, the humour, or the perverse dare-devilry for the part. And even his flirting was too gentlemanly and restrained. Despite these drawbacks, this film with Lodge is excellent. The two villains are extremely good, Victor Jory and Hugh Miller, both of whom are menacing but also strangely effete. Claud Allister is back as Algy Longworth, but is very subdued and seems depressed, with few lines and less action. It is as if he has been dragged out of bed at an unseemly hour and has not woken up yet. There is no wife or fiancée in this film, and Drummond is living quietly in a country cottage with an elderly housekeeper and no phone. Naturally, danger comes his way regardless. There is no way Hugh Drummond can keep out of trouble, even should he hide himself miles from the nearest town, as he does here. The female interest in this film is Dorothy Mackaill, who at 34 was making her 66th feature film, but it was to be her last, as she effectively retired after this. The plot is good, and as it is the late thirties, peace and war, weapons and intrigue are in the air. Once again, as in 'The Return of Bulldog Drummond' (1934 with Ralph Richardson), the villains are arms dealers. But this time they are merely in it for the money and the opposition to them is not a black shirt Mosley movement involving Drummond who is trying to prevent rearmament. This one is politically uncontroversial. The arms dealers are trying to steal Britain's new secret invention for remotely-controlling airplanes. They wish to 'sell it to a foreign power' and they kidnap the young inventor. Bulldog comes to the rescue, of course. At one point he is locked in a laboratory where he is being slowly poisoned by gas, and there is no way out. No, I am not going to tell you. The film has some witty lines. Drummond says to Dorothy Mackaill: 'I never found a woman who could handle a car.' and she replies: 'I never found a man who could handle a woman.' She is the true dare-devil in the film, as she drives like a maniac and scares him to death. This Drummond film is well worth seeing.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Pretty solid entry

Author: gridoon2015
1 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

John Lodge adds his name to the long list of different actors who portrayed Bulldog Drummond throughout the years, and he is solidly adequate in the role. But what really differentiates (somewhat) "Bulldog Drummond At Bay" from the previous films in the series is the main female part, played by the largely forgotten today Dorothy Mackaill. She's not the usual damsel-in-distress; she is an enigmatic woman and you're not sure whose side she is on until the very end; she also has good interplay with Drummond ("You have no spark", Drummond says, talking about her car; "That's the first complaint I've had!", she responds). The plot is also a bit more complicated than usual, with several villains, sometimes at odds with each other. And there is even a good old-fashioned Scottish castle! **1/2 out of 4.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good but not as good as the films that followed

Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
27 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

John Lodge is Captain Hugh Drummond in one of a long series of films (its one of thee films from 1937 all with different Drummond's. The other two are the miscast Ray Milland and the perfectly cast John Howard). Here Drummond and his friends take on a group of foreign spies trying to get their hands on a new plane. One of the baddies is played to perfection by Victory Jory, who really turns in a highly evil performance. This is one of the darkest of any of the Drummond films with the bad guys really doing a number on anyone and everyone who fall into their hands. This is a solid, if slightly nasty little film that plays very differently than the seven films that followed with John Howard in the lead. Those films, while good little mysteries of their own, were just a tad lighter than this film. Very much worth a look, especially if one looks at how the character changed in one year by watching Ray Milland in Bulldog Drummond Escapes and John Howard in Bulldog Drummond Comes Back.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

another actor turned politician

Author: blanche-2 from United States
6 September 2013

In this Bulldog Drummond from 1937, Drummond is played by John Lodge, who later became a congressman. He was only Drummond once. He was solid enough, but he didn't have the light touch of some of the others or the wit.

The criminals here (Victor Jory and Hugh Miller) have a fake club for world peace, but it's really just a front to get people to give them a lot of money. They kidnap a man endeavoring to get some new airplane plans from him in order to sell them, but just before he is caught, he throws a rock through Drummond's window with a piece of paper.

Dorothy Mackaill is a woman, seemingly on the side of the criminals, who comes to Drummond's house with car trouble, but really wants to look for anything of the kidnap victim's.

Pretty good, though the prints on these films is never very good. This one had sound that skipped as well. But as a series, Bulldog Drummond is interesting, with so many actors playing him over the years: Ray Milland, Ronald Colman, Sir Ralph Richardson, John Howard, Ron Randell, Tom Conway, Walter Pidgeon, Robert Beatty and Richard Johnson.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"In Scotland, it's my firm intention to kill two birds with one shot."

Author: classicsoncall from United States
25 February 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Kalinsky (Hugh Miller) is a mysterious financier who makes war a profitable business, and he means to get his hands on a secret war plane. He's formed an alliance with the villainous Gregoroff (Victor Jory), and they have kidnapped the plane's inventor Caldwell (Richard Bird). Captain Hugh Drummond (John Lodge) brings himself into the case after double agent Miss Thompson (Dorothy Mackaill) attempts to slip him a mickey, but she's no match for the perceptive Drummond who instinctively spills his tea and invites himself along for the ride when she makes her way to hook up with the bad guys.

This is one film you'll have to pay attention to, especially if you're not familiar with the Drummond series, which I'm not (yet). The Captain's sidekick Algy (Claud Allister) shows up when the boss calls, though his presence here is more in the way of comic relief. It was a bit disconcerting that one of Algy's notable quirks is drinking straight alcohol! It seemed rather strange to me that he disappeared before the story ended with no explanation, maybe he just got bored.

The one sit up and take notice scene proves just how dastardly Victor Jory's character could be. Near the end of the story as he readies his escape, he's confronted by Miss Thompson, and he belts her one right in the kisser - not a way to treat a lady!

When the "secret" plane was finally revealed, hijacked by the sinister Gregoroff, I had to laugh because for all it's secrecy, it was just your run of the mill era bi-plane. But then we get the real scoop, as inventor Caldwell reveals the true secret. The plane can be controlled from the ground, and as Caldwell freezes the plane's controls, Gregoroff goes down in a blaze of glory.

The only other Drummond film I've seen is "Bulldog Drummond Escapes", also from 1937. In that film's finale, he's planning to run off to get married with the film's heroine portrayed by Heather Angel. Ever the lady's man, Drummond's doing the same thing here!

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I wonder if the extra 20 minutes or so would have made a difference.

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
3 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I noticed that the IMDb running times for this film vary tremendously. In the original UK version, the film was about 20 minutes longer. Perhaps this missing film might have made this movie a lot more engaging. Because I only saw the severely truncated American version, I can only review what I saw--and it did not thrill me. However, even if I did see the original version, it would have had some problems--such as the weak acting of the man playing Algy (Claud Allister--who was just too wimpy and annoying in this part). The biggest problem, however, was that the series really never had any stability in the lead--with almost a dozen different actors playing Drummond. In 1937, there were even two playing him simultaneously--John Lodge in this British film and John Hunter in the American-made series! I can't think of another B-movie series with so many lead changes--a definite problem for building up a loyal fan base.

This film finds Drummond at home and a mystery falls in his lap--something common to most Drummond films. However, his odd reaction to the mystery astounded me. A man has escaped his kidnappers and he tries, in vain, to get help from Drummond. However, the kidnappers come to Drummond's home looking for the escaped man and rifle through Drummond's home. Then, the boss pays Drummond to keep his mouth shut and forget what he saw (which wasn't much)...and so Drummond takes the money and then goes to sleep!!!! Not exactly heroic behavior and he doesn't even attempt to do anything until the next day!!! Aside from Drummond being a weasel in the film, the movie also suffers from occasionally bad writing--even for a B. The worst was the horrid cliché that came out when Drummond captured a member of the group. The man told Drummond that he will tell him who the leader is--and when this conversation is interrupted, you KNOW that when Drummond returns after his brief absence that the man will be dead or gone--and of course, he is!! Overall, not a terrible film but certain one of the weaker ones in the series. For my time, the John Howard films are better as well as the early sound version with Ronald Colman.

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