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J. Walter Ruben
This is one of 8 Bulldog Drummond adventures produced by Paramount in the late 1930s, and sold to Congress Films (II) in mid-1954 for re-release; Congress redesigned the opening and closing credits, in order to eliminate all evidence of Paramount's ownership, going so far as to even alter the copyright claimant statements on the title cards; Congress, in turn, sold the films to Governor Films for television syndication. Along the way, Paramount, having disowned the films, never bothered to renew the copyrights, and they fell into public domain, with the result that inferior VHS and DVD copies have been in distribution for many years, from a variety of sub-distributors who specialize in public domain material. See more »
The sign at the Airport is incorrectly spelled "Aérodrome du Macon" in French, when it should read "Aérodrome de Mâcon". See more »
Once again Bulldog Drummond is planning to marry his fiancée Phylllis. Once again, he gets sidetracked. This time by a mystery involving synthetic diamonds and, of course, murder. This would be the third and final Bulldog Drummond film for both John Barrymore and Louise Campbell. Barrymore would be replaced by H.B. Warner and Campbell by Heather Angel, who returned to the role she played in Bulldog Drummond Escapes. The reason for Barrymore leaving is his alcoholism, which was affecting his performance. Reportedly he had trouble reading lines even when they were written for him on cue cards. You can definitely see something is off with him here. He shouts all his lines, for one thing. I'm not sure of the reason for Campbell's departure. This was the biggest role of her short career and I think she was very good. But I admit Angel was better so I'm not terribly upset over the replacement. The rest of the cast of regulars that would continue on with the series (John Howard, Reginald Denny, E.E. Clive) are fine. Clive has some of the movie's best scenes. There's a nice supporting cast that includes Halliwell Hobbes and Porter Hall.
As with most of the entries in the Paramount series, this is a middling B detective flick with a short runtime. This one passes the hour mark (barely) but the last couple didn't even do that. I don't mind the runtime. It works fine for this type of picture. It's not like Paramount was doing anything innovative or unique with this series, after all. It's just this one is pretty dull. Still, if you're fan of the series you will want to see it. If nothing else, see it for the scene with the cool old-school sci-fi laboratory.
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