Bulldog Drummond Comes Back - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bulldog Drummond Comes Back Reviews

Page 1 of 1
½ April 5, 2016
Snappy little mystery. I definitely want to watch all the Bulldog Drummond movies. These are fun as hell.
June 23, 2014
Lady MacBeth baits the Bulldog--Ingenious Bulldog Drummond Tale!!
½ July 13, 2012
Bulldog Drummond Comes Back (Louis King, 1937)

I can't find any evidence whatsoever that I reviewed Bulldog Drummond Comes Back, the first of seven Bulldog Drummond films featuring John Hammond in the title role, anywhere, though I know I must have; I distinctly remember writing the line "sensibly, Hammond jumped ship to accept a role in The Philadelphia Story". But I can't find the review anywhere, so I'll write another one. Oddly, Hammond's seven-film stretch as Drummond was not a reign; Hammond played Bulldog Drummond seven times between 1937 and 1939, but was not the only actor to do so during that period; both John Lodge (in Bulldog Drummond at Bay) and Ray Milland (in Bulldog Drummond Escapes) took turns as the pulp-fiction private eye. (If Milland's name causes raised eyebrows, Walter Pidgeon also took on the role for Calling Bulldog Drummond in 1951.) much of the modern criticism of the film seems to stem from the casting of Hammond, but given that he stuck around for six more movies, someone must have thought he was okay in the role. I didn't mind him all that much, truth be told; there are far more problems with the script and the budget here than there are with Hammond.

Plot: Bulldog Drummond is about to get hitched? Say it ain't so! But yes, everyone's favorite cross between Nick Charles and Nick Carter (the spy, not the singer) is poised to wed Phyllis Clavering (Louise Campbell, whose three Drummond film appearances are by far the most prominent in her fourteen-film career). Until, that is, she's kidnapped by a bunch of durned furriners. (The Bulldog Drummond books are notable for their racism; the movies didn't do much to cover that up.) And thus, Drummond and his longtime pal Colonel Neilson (John Barrymore, slumming it) are off to rescue the damsel in distress from the durned furriners.

It's a pretty darned good cast (I failed to mention Reginald Denny as a tagalong-think Constantine's cab-driver pal, here, whose name currently escapes me-and the incomparable E. E. Clive as Tenney, Drummond's butler, who does what all good butlers should: play the straight man), and they do the best with what they're given. Problem is, what they're given isn't much. Writer Edward T. Lowe and director Louis King were both silent-film hacks who came up the hard way, Lowe in mysteries and King in potboiler westerns of the Lone Star variety. (Oddly, both are best remembered for their work in the Charlie Chan series today, King for Charlie Chan in Egypt and Lowe for Charlie Chan at the Racetrack, but at no point in the franchise did the two cross paths.) While the crossing of those two genres, however ghostly it may be, in a pulp action film does lend it a certain air one doesn't really expect to find in a pulp action film, there's not nearly enough of that atmosphere to make it distinctive enough to do even the slightest patch job over the plot holes and other silliness. Still, if you're in the mood for a turn-your-brain-off action picture and Schwarzenegger never did it for you, the Bulldog Drummond films are only slightly politically incorrect (compared to the books, anyway), have a good amount of witty patter, and are only about an hour long apiece; you could do better, but you could do a lot worse. ** 1/2
½ July 18, 2011
Bulldog Drummond Comes Back (Louis King, 1937)

I can't find any evidence whatsoever that I reviewed Bulldog Drummond Comes Back, the first of seven Bulldog Drummond films featuring John Hammond in the title role, anywhere, though I know I must have; I distinctly remember writing the line "sensibly, Hammond jumped ship to accept a role in The Philadelphia Story". But I can't find the review anywhere, so I'll write another one. Oddly, Hammond's seven-film stretch as Drummond was not a reign; Hammond played Bulldog Drummond seven times between 1937 and 1939, but was not the only actor to do so during that period; both John Lodge (in Bulldog Drummond at Bay) and Ray Milland (in Bulldog Drummond Escapes) took turns as the pulp-fiction private eye. (If Milland's name causes raised eyebrows, Walter Pidgeon also took on the role for Calling Bulldog Drummond in 1951.) much of the modern criticism of the film seems to stem from the casting of Hammond, but given that he stuck around for six more movies, someone must have thought he was okay in the role. I didn't mind him all that much, truth be told; there are far more problems with the script and the budget here than there are with Hammond.

Plot: Bulldog Drummond is about to get hitched? Say it ain't so! But yes, everyone's favorite cross between Nick Charles and Nick Carter (the spy, not the singer) is poised to wed Phyllis Clavering (Louise Campbell, whose three Drummond film appearances are by far the most prominent in her fourteen-film career). Until, that is, she's kidnapped by a bunch of durned furriners. (The Bulldog Drummond books are notable for their racism; the movies didn't do much to cover that up.) And thus, Drummond and his longtime pal Colonel Neilson (John Barrymore, slumming it) are off to rescue the damsel in distress from the durned furriners.

It's a pretty darned good cast (I failed to mention Reginald Denny as a tagalong-think Constantine's cab-driver pal, here, whose name currently escapes me-and the incomparable E. E. Clive as Tenney, Drummond's butler, who does what all good butlers should: play the straight man), and they do the best with what they're given. Problem is, what they're given isn't much. Writer Edward T. Lowe and director Louis King were both silent-film hacks who came up the hard way, Lowe in mysteries and King in potboiler westerns of the Lone Star variety. (Oddly, both are best remembered for their work in the Charlie Chan series today, King for Charlie Chan in Egypt and Lowe for Charlie Chan at the Racetrack, but at no point in the franchise did the two cross paths.) While the crossing of those two genres, however ghostly it may be, in a pulp action film does lend it a certain air one doesn't really expect to find in a pulp action film, there's not nearly enough of that atmosphere to make it distinctive enough to do even the slightest patch job over the plot holes and other silliness. Still, if you're in the mood for a turn-your-brain-off action picture and Schwarzenegger never did it for you, the Bulldog Drummond films are only slightly politically incorrect (compared to the books, anyway), have a good amount of witty patter, and are only about an hour long apiece; you could do better, but you could do a lot worse. ** 1/2
½ November 4, 2009
More of the same and some how it managed to get more boring. John Barrymore couldn't even help this one.
½ January 10, 2009
Not a bad little mystery, but the DVD is practically unwatchable because of the terrible sound and picture. I would expect a better restoration from a movie from the late 30s.
July 3, 2006
6.5/10. John Barrymore's presence and excellent performance lifts this average mystery thruller to above average. Good entry in the Bulldog Drummond series, enjoyable, short and to the point.
Page 1 of 1