This is the sixteenth of the Bulldog Drummond films, and it brings to an end the Drummond films as they were before the outbreak of World War II. (They would resume in 1947.) With this film, John Howard also ends his career as Drummond, which had lasted for seven films, all made within two breathless years between September of 1937 and September of 1939. Heather Angel once again plays Phyllis Clavering, E. E. Clive plays Tenny the Butler, Reginald Denny plays Algy Longworth, and H. B. Warner plays Commissioner Nielson, all for the last time. John Howard left the film business to join the U. S. Navy (he was an American), where he ended up winning the Navy Cross and the French Croix de Guerre for conspicuous acts of bravery, becoming in other words a real life hero of the sort he had played in the Drummond films. After the War, he returned to acting but was never again fortunate to shine as a major player. It seems a poor return for a fictional Drummond who became a real Drummond, that he could not resume the role. E. E. Clive died the next year, in 1940. Reginald Denny contributed to the War effort by manufacturing 15,000 target drones for the U. S. Army. He later returned to acting, but was never in another Drummond film. H. B. Warner and Heather Angel went on acting, but they never appeared in another Drummond film either. The team was totally broken up, and 'vintage 1930s Drummond' was over. This film is moderately entertaining, with lots of comedy, so that it is not actually serious. What with people having cans of paint thrown over them and slipping and sliding, Algy staging pratfalls continually, and other such antics, there is barely room for a mystery plot. However, Drummondians will be thrilled to know that ... oh no, I must not say ... that business which was continually being interrupted between Hugh and Phyllis, ... well, that must remain a mystery. The plot, what there is of it, concerns a ruthless villain who has robbed a bank for what then was considered a vast sum, of ten thousand pounds. It is hard to conceive of a time when that was a sum worth getting excited about, worth exploding bombs all over the place, killing people without compunction, and carrying on as if all the gold of the Indies were at stake. But that was then, and this is now. In this film as in so many others of the time, Scotland Yard 'seal off an area with a cordon, and no one can get through'. It seems incredible, doesn't it, that it was even remotely conceivable to seal off a sector of London like that just for a measly little bank robbery? Naturally, the villain gets away in an ambulance disguised as a madman. Maybe it really was time for the world to move on and get real. After this, there were tanks and planes and the Holocaust to worry about, and whether Hugh and Phyllis got married or not was no longer important, with so many women widowed that Phyllis having to wait for another crime to be solved no longer qualified as a tragedy.
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