Captain Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond is called in to solve the murder of a man from whom two lead soldiers were stolen. Drummond learns that the two soldiers were part of a set of thirteen which...
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Captain Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond is called in to solve the murder of a man from whom two lead soldiers were stolen. Drummond learns that the two soldiers were part of a set of thirteen which formed the key to a hidden vault of treasure. Following some clever sleuthing and set-up on Drummond's part, the guilty man is trapped in the vault,which is hidden behind the fireplace.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is the twentieth Bulldog Drummond film, as well as the second and last starring Tom Conway as Drummond. (He played Drummond twice in 1948.) There is little difference between Tom Conway as Hugh Drummond and Tom Conway as the Falcon. He is perfectly adequate in either role, with his usual charm and ease. This film is interesting because of a genuinely intriguing plot premise of a historical/archaeological nature. The 'thirteen lead soldiers' of the title, and the parchment palimpsest manuscript associated with them, record the whereabouts of and access to the 'treasure of the Saxons', concealed just before the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It is necessary to collect all the soldiers, hence the temptation to murder various owners of them. Sapper wrote the story containing this idea, and it is a pity that it was not given a better treatment. It is potentially very much in the genre of 'Lara Croft, Tomb Raider', and could form the basis for a modern film along those lines. Someone ought to give this consideration. This version is entertaining in a typically B picture way, never rising higher than that, but not sinking lower either. Algy Longworth, played here by John Newland, is not an ass as played by Reginald Denny, but is a pathetically inept sidekick who longs to be able to emulate his hero, Hugh. In this film, much fun is had by Algy pretending to be Hugh and Hugh pretending to be Algy, to confuse some of the people they meet in the course of the story. Even as 'Bulldog Drummond', however, the limp Algy cannot make headway with the gals, he finds, and he despairs with the realization that he never will. It is all done in typical comedic style. The Inspector this time is Gordon Richards, who shouts a lot and is boring and tedious. Terry Kilburn is colourless as Drummond's young male secretary, which is a thankless part with almost no lines or point. (There is no actual butler this time.) Helen Westcott is rather interesting as one of the young women in the story, and we could have done with more of her. Maria Palmer is more histrionic and obvious in her role as a potential villainess. This film is neither inferior nor superior, it is what it is.
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