Bulldog Drummond

Bulldog Drummond:

Bulldog Drummond is a British fictional character created by "Sapper," a pseudonym of Herman Cyril McNeile (1888-1937), in imitation of the hard boiled noir-style detectives appearing in contemporary American fiction. The stories followed Captain Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond, D.S.O., M.C., a wealthy former WWI officer of the Loamshire Regiment, who, after the war, spends his new-found leisure time as a private detective.

Drummond is a proto-James Bond figure. In terms of the detective genre, the first Bulldog Drummond novel was published after the Sherlock Holmes stories, the Nayland Smith/Fu Manchu novels and Richard Hannay's first adventure in The Thirty Nine Steps. The character first appeared in the novel Bulldog Drummond(1920), and this was followed by a lengthy series of books and adaptations for films, radio and television.

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1.  Bulldog Drummond (1929) – Ronald Colman & Joan Bennett:

Bulldog Drummond is a 1929 detective film which tells the story of Captain Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond (Ronald Colman), a British officer bored with civilian life, who investigates an extortion case for a beautiful girl (Joan Bennett).  The movie was produced by Samuel Goldwyn Studios and directed by F. Richard Jones.  The movie was from the pulp novels by Herman C. McNeile. It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Ronald Colman) and Best Art Direction.. 

Two previous silent Bulldog Drummond films had been produced: Bulldog Drummond in 1923 and Bulldog Drummond's Third Round in 1925. The 1929 film was the first Bulldog Drummond movie with sound. It was also Ronald Colman's first talkie.


2. Bulldog Drummond Escapes (1937) – Ray Milland:

Starring Ray Milland as Captain Hugh 'Bulldog' Drummond has just returned to England. As he is driving home in the dark, a young woman jumps out in front of his car. He misses her, but she falls to the ground. As he tries to revive her, he hears a shout for help, then gunshots. As he goes to investigate, the woman drives away with Drummond's car. He is soon able to trace her to nearby Greystone Manor, and when he goes there to meet her, she urges him to help her get out of a desperate situation.

3. Bulldog Drummond Comes Back (1937) – John Howard:

The girlfriend of Captain Drummond has been kidnapped by an enemy of Drummond who seeks revenge. But Drummond (John Howard) and his friend Colonel Nielsen (John Barrymore) at once follow his trail.

4. Bulldog Drummond's Revenge (1937) – John Howard:  Most of the story-line revolves around a secret new explosive that a scientist has invented, which the villains would obviously love to get their hands on. Some of the better moments come when the main action interferes with Drummond's plans to marry Phyllis (Louise Campbell), while flustering the befuddled but ever-helpful Algy (Reginald Denny).


5.  Bulldog Drummond at Bay (1937) – John Lodge:

Bulldog Drummond (John Lodge) goes up against foreign agents trying to steal plans for a top-secret aircraft.

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. John 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).


6. Bulldog Drummond in Africa (1938) – John Howard:

As his wedding to Phyllis Clavering approaches, 'Bulldog' Drummond has taken extreme precautions to avoid getting caught up in another adventure that would delay the wedding. But even as they make their final preparations, their friend Colonel Neilsen (H. B. Warner) is being kidnapped by a gang headed by the traitorous Richard Lane (J. Carroll Nash). Phyllis witnesses the abduction, and quickly finds Drummond to tell him. They track the gang to Morocco, where they will face many obstacles to their goal of rescuing Neilsen.

7. Bulldog Drummond's Peril (1938) – John Howard:

The intended wedding of Captain Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond (John Howard) to Phyllis Clavering (Louise Campbell) at her villa in Switzerland is stopped short (once again) when someone murders the Swiss policeman who is guarding their wedding presents.

8. Bulldog Drummond's Secret Police (1939) – John Howard:

While preparing to marry his fiancée (for the umpteenth time!), Drummond discovers that there is a treasure buried somewhere in the secret passageways beneath his ancient British estate.

9. Arrest Bulldog Drummond (1939)John Howard:

A British scientist has created a death ray which can destroy an entire army in seconds. A villain murders him, steals his invention, and plans to sell it. Drummond discovers the killing and takes the case, but soon finds himself in trouble with Scotland Yard, and accused of murder. Now he must clear his name as well as stop the crooks.

10. Bulldog Drummond's Bride (1939) – John Howard:

Henri Armides and his assistant, Garvey, blow up and rob a London bank in broad daylight and get away with 10,000 pounds. They hide the money in a radio but the radio is in the apartment that Colonel Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond (John Howard) and his intended bride, Phyllis Caverling, will be occupying after they are married. Married or not, they check out the honeymoon apartment. This does not bode well for Armides and Garvey's plans to recover the money; it also does not bode well for Phyllis and Drummond's plans to get married.

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 years between September of 1937 and September of 1939.


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