Bulldog Drummond Comes Back (1937)    0 Stars

“A real action drama full of fun and thrills!”

Bulldog Drummond Comes Back (1937)
Bulldog Drummond Comes Back (1937)

Director: Louis King

Cast: John Barrymore, John Howard, Louise Campbell

Synopsis: The girlfriend of Captain Drummond has been kidnapped by an enemy of Drummond who seeks revenge. But Drummond and his friend Colonel Nielsen at once follow his trail…







He wasn’t gone too long, either, considering Bulldog Drummond Escapes, the first film in the revived series, was released just eight months earlier. That was long enough for Ray Milland, who played the dapper detective in the first movie, to move on to other things, though, and for poor old Guy Standing, who played Inspector Neilson, to come off second best in an encounter with a rattlesnake. They’re replaced here by John Howard (Lost Horizon) as Drummond and no less a leading light (although considerably dimmer than it once was) than John Barrymore (Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Sea Beast) grabbing the headline role as Neilson, who has won promotion to the rank of Colonel since the end of the first movie.

The plot once again revolves around the efforts of Drummond to rescue Phyllis Clavering (Louise Campbell), the woman he saved in the first movie, and who has since become his fiancee. This time, she’s been kidnapped by the wicked Irena Soldanis (Helen Freeman – Abraham Lincoln), the wife of a former foe of Drummond, who leaves a trail of cryptic clues for the frantic detective to follow. To be honest, Drummond isn’t really all that hot at deciphering the clues, with the good Colonel solving most of them before having to adopt a heavy disguise in order to be able to trail Drummond unheeded.

Other than to inflict some level of psychological torture on Drummond, it’s difficult to see what Soldanis hopes to achieve from the breadcrumb trail of clues she sets, and it’s difficult to see how any satisfaction she gains from teasing him in this way justifies the lengths to which she has to go to put them in place. And it doesn’t really make for particularly interesting viewing because the solution to each clue simply points Drummond towards the location of the next clue without providing any revelations or bringing him any nearer to Phyllis. Nevertheless, Howard makes a suave Bulldog, although perhaps understandably not as easy-going as Milland was, and Barrymore appears to be having fun underneath the kind of disguise that wouldn’t fool anyone for a minute.

(Reviewed 2nd April 2015)

Rent Home Entertainment, Kitchen Appliances and Technology at Dial-a-TV