A "B" Diamond and Some Bulldog Fun
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 04/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fans of "B" films will find a bonanza in this package. Blake of Scotland Yard, however, is not that. It was a serial, starring Ralph Byrd, Joan Barclay and Herbert Rawlinson. This one involves the hooded "Scorpion" and the theft of a death ray device. Kids during the 1930's and 1940's used to love these serial adventures, so if comic book type dialog and action is what you are in the mood for, it will pass the time. It is minor, however, considering the good to excellenent "B" films included here. Bulldog Drummond films date all the way back to the silent era. While the two films with Ronald Colman are considered to be the best by many critics, the most fun and entertaining are surely derived from the "B" films with John Howard in the role of Hugh Drummond.
The "B" series had cute and lovely Heather Angel as Hugh's fun bride-to-be, Phyllis Clavering. E.E. Clive was great as Bulldog's valet, Tenny, and Reginald Denny offered moments of amusement as his affable pal, Algy. H.B. Warner was fun as Colonel Nielson and Elizabeth Patterson swell as Phyllis' Aunt Blanche, always skeptical that Bulldog would ever make it to the alter with Phyllis.Though H.C. Snapper McNeil's Bulldog Drummond can be traced all the way back to nitrate film of the silent era, certainly the most fun is derived from the "B" series, of which, "Bulldog Drummond in Africa" offers plenty. All the regulars fans of the series love return in this one, and it has tons of atmosphere augmented by humor and some nice pacing from director Louis King.
Bulldog Drummond at Bay is an okay effort, but John Lodge and Dorothy Mackaill cannot replace Howard and Angel in the lead roles, so is a lesser one for fans of the series. Bulldog Drummond's Revenge has Louise Campbell as Hugh's bride-to-be. While Heather Angel was always missed, she did a fairly nice job in a couple of entries in the series. But Bulldog Drummond in Africa is the best of the Drummond entries among those in this package. This incredibly entertaining outing has Bulldog (John Howard) once again being sidetracked on the eve of his wedding to Phyllis Clavering. Heather Angel gets ample screen time as Hugh's cute and fabulous girlfriend and shines like the African sun during midsummer.
The solid and stalwart Tenny (E.E. Clive) is at Bulldog's side while bumbling but loyal pal Algy (Reginald Denny) runs last second errands, desperately hoping no new adventure will arise to interfere with the nuptials. When Phyllis sees Colonel Nielson being kidnapped from Greystoke Manor by spy Richard Lane (J. Carrol Naish), however, the chase is on!
Just missing them as their plane takes off for Africa, an undaunted Bulldog, finally with pants Algy has been trying to deliver, grabs his own plane and takes to the skies. Phyllis has to stow away because Bulldog is trying to keep her out of harm's way; a cute circumstance which happens often in the film.
Once in Africa, our gang gets tangled up with crooked cops; most notably Lane's henchman, Deone Fordine, winningly portrayed by a young and dashing Anthony Quinn. Barely escaping a bomb planted on his plane, they race to rescue the Colonel from a lion in an exciting finish. A fun tone, pleasant finale, and plenty of atmosphere make for one of the best entries in the series, and everything a good "B" is supposed to be. A must for Bulldog fans.
Yellowstone was a pleasant surprise and nice addition to the Drummond films. It is a fantastic little 1936 programmer from Universal which looks and feels more like one of those topflight RKO productions of the period, minus all the big stars. Beautiful outdoor locations and a good story directed with charm and style by Arthur Lubin make for a nifty little "B" with no wasted moments.
The story begins in Yellowstone Park when Ruth Foster (Judith Barrett) arrives to meet the father she hasn't seen for 18 years. She also meets Ranger Dick Sherwood (Henry Hunter) and a very nice mood is set by director Rubin as a romance quickly develops between the couple.
Her dad is being followed, however, and his past in San Quentin and search for a buried treasure others are after will nearly drive the young lovers apart. When his body is washed up by a steaming geyser in the park, the discovery that he was murdered will form a cloud over the couple not easily removed.
Andy Devine offers comic relief as Dick's pal who aspires to be a Ranger. There is a nice outdoor atmosphere and some warm and charming scenes between Dick and Ruth enjoying tales by the campfire and songs of the west sung by firelight. When it becomes apparent that Ruth's father was murdered with Sherwood's gun, only finding the hidden money in a cave near the geyser and confronting the true culprit can bring the couple together again.
This is a warm and romantic "B" film with a good little mystery and some nice performances from the two leads. Don't miss Andy Devine trying to get the Chinese cook to make him a chicken sandwich! This is definitely a good one for fans of "B" films. Its inclusion here rounds out a good bargain for "B" movie fans. Grab some popcorn and the kids and enjoy these on a Saturday morning!"
Great old Movies
C. Love | Chicago area | 10/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Great buy for the folks who like those old black and white movies. I always liked the Bulldog Drummond movies. Thats why I always go to Amazon when I'm looking for bargains."