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  • This was the ninth Bulldog Drummond film, and the only one starring John Lodge as Drummond. In 1937 it was one of three Drummond films, each of which had a different leading man; in succession these were: Ray Milland, John Lodge, and John Howard. Only Howard ever made another, and he became a regular. Lodge was a remarkable man, who later became a US Congressman and Governor of Connecticut (and his brother Henry Cabot Lodge ran for Vice President). As a 'Boston Brahmin', the handsome Lodge had the easy manner and social charm to make a fine leading man, and he could act well enough as well. However, he was not a particularly good Hugh Drummond, because he did not have the sense of mischief, the wildness, the humour, or the perverse dare-devilry for the part. And even his flirting was too gentlemanly and restrained. Despite these drawbacks, this film with Lodge is excellent. The two villains are extremely good, Victor Jory and Hugh Miller, both of whom are menacing but also strangely effete. Claud Allister is back as Algy Longworth, but is very subdued and seems depressed, with few lines and less action. It is as if he has been dragged out of bed at an unseemly hour and has not woken up yet. There is no wife or fiancée in this film, and Drummond is living quietly in a country cottage with an elderly housekeeper and no phone. Naturally, danger comes his way regardless. There is no way Hugh Drummond can keep out of trouble, even should he hide himself miles from the nearest town, as he does here. The female interest in this film is Dorothy Mackaill, who at 34 was making her 66th feature film, but it was to be her last, as she effectively retired after this. The plot is good, and as it is the late thirties, peace and war, weapons and intrigue are in the air. Once again, as in 'The Return of Bulldog Drummond' (1934 with Ralph Richardson), the villains are arms dealers. But this time they are merely in it for the money and the opposition to them is not a black shirt Mosley movement involving Drummond who is trying to prevent rearmament. This one is politically uncontroversial. The arms dealers are trying to steal Britain's new secret invention for remotely-controlling airplanes. They wish to 'sell it to a foreign power' and they kidnap the young inventor. Bulldog comes to the rescue, of course. At one point he is locked in a laboratory where he is being slowly poisoned by gas, and there is no way out. No, I am not going to tell you. The film has some witty lines. Drummond says to Dorothy Mackaill: 'I never found a woman who could handle a car.' and she replies: 'I never found a man who could handle a woman.' She is the true dare-devil in the film, as she drives like a maniac and scares him to death. This Drummond film is well worth seeing.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I noticed that the IMDb running times for this film vary tremendously. In the original UK version, the film was about 20 minutes longer. Perhaps this missing film might have made this movie a lot more engaging. Because I only saw the severely truncated American version, I can only review what I saw--and it did not thrill me. However, even if I did see the original version, it would have had some problems--such as the weak acting of the man playing Algy (Claud Allister--who was just too wimpy and annoying in this part). The biggest problem, however, was that the series really never had any stability in the lead--with almost a dozen different actors playing Drummond. In 1937, there were even two playing him simultaneously--John Lodge in this British film and John Hunter in the American-made series! I can't think of another B-movie series with so many lead changes--a definite problem for building up a loyal fan base.

    This film finds Drummond at home and a mystery falls in his lap--something common to most Drummond films. However, his odd reaction to the mystery astounded me. A man has escaped his kidnappers and he tries, in vain, to get help from Drummond. However, the kidnappers come to Drummond's home looking for the escaped man and rifle through Drummond's home. Then, the boss pays Drummond to keep his mouth shut and forget what he saw (which wasn't much)...and so Drummond takes the money and then goes to sleep!!!! Not exactly heroic behavior and he doesn't even attempt to do anything until the next day!!! Aside from Drummond being a weasel in the film, the movie also suffers from occasionally bad writing--even for a B. The worst was the horrid cliché that came out when Drummond captured a member of the group. The man told Drummond that he will tell him who the leader is--and when this conversation is interrupted, you KNOW that when Drummond returns after his brief absence that the man will be dead or gone--and of course, he is!! Overall, not a terrible film but certain one of the weaker ones in the series. For my time, the John Howard films are better as well as the early sound version with Ronald Colman.
  • Interesting... John Lodge only played starring role Bulldog Drummond this once, and director Norman Lee only directed this one chapter, before others would take over the well known roles. Lodge has an interesting story on wikipedia.org... was big in politics, and had a running competition with the Kennedy gang. Lodge had turned down a huge role with Mae West, and the wisdom of that can be debated. After this, the role of Bulldog Drummond would be played by John Howard many times. although the character had been created in the 1920s, for silent films, during the 1930s, the stories were now adapted into war-time plots, since europe was about to be pulled into WW II. Dorothy MacKaill is "Doris", and this was her final film. Foreign spies try to kidnap an inventor to steal his invention. Large actor William Dewhurst is "Mr. Portside", who brings them to a secret meeting of the underground. Died at 49, but he was so large, i guess it's not a surprise. sound and picture are all pretty iffy. story goes all around. It's pretty good. Victor Jory and Hugh Miller co-star. and a funny scene where a pickpocket gets caught picking a pocket.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Kalinsky (Hugh Miller) is a mysterious financier who makes war a profitable business, and he means to get his hands on a secret war plane. He's formed an alliance with the villainous Gregoroff (Victor Jory), and they have kidnapped the plane's inventor Caldwell (Richard Bird). Captain Hugh Drummond (John Lodge) brings himself into the case after double agent Miss Thompson (Dorothy Mackaill) attempts to slip him a mickey, but she's no match for the perceptive Drummond who instinctively spills his tea and invites himself along for the ride when she makes her way to hook up with the bad guys.

    This is one film you'll have to pay attention to, especially if you're not familiar with the Drummond series, which I'm not (yet). The Captain's sidekick Algy (Claud Allister) shows up when the boss calls, though his presence here is more in the way of comic relief. It was a bit disconcerting that one of Algy's notable quirks is drinking straight alcohol! It seemed rather strange to me that he disappeared before the story ended with no explanation, maybe he just got bored.

    The one sit up and take notice scene proves just how dastardly Victor Jory's character could be. Near the end of the story as he readies his escape, he's confronted by Miss Thompson, and he belts her one right in the kisser - not a way to treat a lady!

    When the "secret" plane was finally revealed, hijacked by the sinister Gregoroff, I had to laugh because for all it's secrecy, it was just your run of the mill era bi-plane. But then we get the real scoop, as inventor Caldwell reveals the true secret. The plane can be controlled from the ground, and as Caldwell freezes the plane's controls, Gregoroff goes down in a blaze of glory.

    The only other Drummond film I've seen is "Bulldog Drummond Escapes", also from 1937. In that film's finale, he's planning to run off to get married with the film's heroine portrayed by Heather Angel. Ever the lady's man, Drummond's doing the same thing here!
  • In this Bulldog Drummond from 1937, Drummond is played by John Lodge, who later became a congressman. He was only Drummond once. He was solid enough, but he didn't have the light touch of some of the others or the wit.

    The criminals here (Victor Jory and Hugh Miller) have a fake club for world peace, but it's really just a front to get people to give them a lot of money. They kidnap a man endeavoring to get some new airplane plans from him in order to sell them, but just before he is caught, he throws a rock through Drummond's window with a piece of paper.

    Dorothy Mackaill is a woman, seemingly on the side of the criminals, who comes to Drummond's house with car trouble, but really wants to look for anything of the kidnap victim's.

    Pretty good, though the prints on these films are never very good. This one had sound that skipped as well. But as a series, Bulldog Drummond is interesting, with so many actors playing him over the years: Ray Milland, Ronald Colman, Sir Ralph Richardson, John Howard, Ron Randell, Tom Conway, Walter Pidgeon, Robert Beatty and Richard Johnson.
  • This British Bulldog Drummond movie was made at the same time Paramount was producing their series back in the States. I've heard that it's also the movie that's most faithful to the Drummond books. Having read none of the books, I can't say one way or the other if that's true. But if this movie is indicative of what the books are like, I think I'll pass on trying them out. This is future politician John Lodge's only Bulldog Drummond film. He was one of three actors to play the character in 1937 alone. The other two, Ray Milland and John Howard, would play the character over at Paramount. Of the three, Lodge is the most colorless and dull. The story in this one has Hugh 'Bulldog' Drummond fighting foreign agents who kidnap an inventor. As with most of the British films I've seen from the '30s, this movie is pretty stiff. There's some playful banter between Lodge and Dorothy Mackaill, for example, but it's hurt by the dry matter-of-fact delivery. No charm or sexiness to it at all. The same can be said of the humor and action -- it's all just very blah. Claud Allister's Algy is highly annoying. Look out for Victory Jory's unintentionally funny death scene. Fans of Bulldog Drummond or the American movies might want to try it out for comparison's sake but I can't think of a reason to recommend it to anyone else.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    John Lodge is Captain Hugh Drummond in one of a long series of films (its one of thee films from 1937 all with different Drummond's. The other two are the miscast Ray Milland and the perfectly cast John Howard). Here Drummond and his friends take on a group of foreign spies trying to get their hands on a new plane. One of the baddies is played to perfection by Victory Jory, who really turns in a highly evil performance. This is one of the darkest of any of the Drummond films with the bad guys really doing a number on anyone and everyone who fall into their hands. This is a solid, if slightly nasty little film that plays very differently than the seven films that followed with John Howard in the lead. Those films, while good little mysteries of their own, were just a tad lighter than this film. Very much worth a look, especially if one looks at how the character changed in one year by watching Ray Milland in Bulldog Drummond Escapes and John Howard in Bulldog Drummond Comes Back.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    John Lodge adds his name to the long list of different actors who portrayed Bulldog Drummond throughout the years, and he is solidly adequate in the role. But what really differentiates (somewhat) "Bulldog Drummond At Bay" from the previous films in the series is the main female part, played by the largely forgotten today Dorothy Mackaill. She's not the usual damsel-in-distress; she is an enigmatic woman and you're not sure whose side she is on until the very end; she also has good interplay with Drummond ("You have no spark", Drummond says, talking about her car; "That's the first complaint I've had!", she responds). The plot is also a bit more complicated than usual, with several villains, sometimes at odds with each other. And there is even a good old-fashioned Scottish castle! **1/2 out of 4.
  • The plane,which is the maguffin of this film,can be stopped in midflight.Roll on to 1944 and you have rockets being programmed to do the same thing.Other than that this is a fairly routine detective film.