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Algy, Bulldog Drummond's right-hand-man, is getting married. Bulldog attends; on the way home, in the fog, he enters the (apparently deserted) mansion of Prince Achmed in search of a phone. He finds none, but he does find a body - which disappears when he summons a bobby. Bodies keep disappearing as Drummond keeps summoning the authorities, particularly his long-suffering upstairs neighbor, Captain Nielsen; the ever faithful Algy also finds his wedding night disrupted by, among other things, some emergency code-breaking. And of course, there's a beautiful woman (there's always a beautiful woman in the case), Lola, who turns out to be the daughter of the dead man who started all this.Written by
Jon Reeves <email@example.com>
Ronald Colman bows out as Drummond, in a superior offering
This is the fifth Bulldog Drummond film, and the second and final one starring Ronald Colman as Drummond. It has the same title as the eighteenth Drummond film, released in 1947 and starring Ron Randell, but the stories have nothing whatever in common despite the common title of the two films. This film was a 20th Century Fox release, and has correspondingly higher production values than normal, being produced by Daryll Zanuck and with a script by Hollywood regular Nunnally Johnson. Colman is as charming and debonair as ever, and carries this off wittily and with energy and zest. The female interest is the young and beautiful Loretta Young, who is not just a limp fainting wisp of a thing but someone with character and verve. Drummond's valet is here called Parker, not Tenny, and E. E. Clive who was later to play the valet called Tenny so many times in Drummond films, here appears as a London bobby. He and fellow-bobby Halliwell Hobbes perform some hilarious routines together, and Clive is truly magnificent as a clowning idiot. Algy Longworth in this film is played by Charles Butterworth, as a forgetful and charming semi-idiot. He is the antithesis of Colman's chum Algy Longworth in 1929, when Claude Allister played Algy as an effete upper-class twit with a monocle and a whinnying voice. Butterworth blinks engagingly, forgets things constantly, and occasionally remembers things urgently. Having been in the signals corps in the War, he is called upon to break a code of a message, which he does satisfactorily, though he has to swallow it whilst held at gunpoint. Warner Oland is wonderful and powerful as a 'foreign prince of an Oriental country', who is a sophisticated but ruthless baddie, aided by Mischa Auer. The story evolves in a London fog, with Drummond entering a mysterious house and finding a dead man by a roaring fire with candles lit on a grand table and no one else in sight. When he comes back with a policeman, the body has disappeared. C. Aubrey Smith is rather irritating as the Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard, Colonel Nielson, who keeps roaring and threatening Drummond for waking him up all the time with disappearing corpses and kidnap victims. The story really is a good one, albeit rather over-melodramatic. This is an excellent thriller done with style and although it has never commercially been for sale, and can be obtained only with the greatest difficulty in a poor off-the-air DVD recording, it will not disappoint dedicated Drummondonians in the least. It is well worth searching for, and you also get the thrill of the chase as an added extra, which is very Drummondesque in itself. So go for it!
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