Bulldog Drummond Escapes (April 21, 1937)

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Ray Milland in Bulldog Drummond Escapes
 

Released on April 21, 1937: Bulldog Drummond tries to free a young heiress that is being held in the mansion next to his country estate.

Directed by James P. Hogan

The Actors: Ray Milland (Captain Hugh 'Bulldog Drummond' ), Guy Standing (Inspector Nielson), Heather Angel (Phyllis Clavering), Reginald Denny (Algy Langworth), Porter Hall (Merridew), Fay Holden (Natalie), E.E. Clive (Tenny), Walter Kingsford (Stanton), P.J. Kelly (Stiles), Charles McNaughton (Constable Higgins), Clyde Cook (Alf), Frank Elliott (Bailey), David Clyde (Gower), Doris Lloyd (Nurse), Robert Adair (Woolsey), J. Gunnis Davis (attendant), Bobbie Hale (attendant), Barry Macollum (Blodgson), Henry Mowbray (Bobby), John Power (customs officer), Pat Somerset (reporter), Ernie Stanton (reporter), Colin Tapley (Dixon), Zeffie Tilbury (jail cell extra)

 

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This is the only 'Bulldog Drummond' movie that stars Ray Milland as the intrepid British detective, and I dare say that it is one of the best. Hugh 'Bulldog' Drummond is a wealthy British Captain that roams England and the world, always getting tangled up in mystery, murder and beautiful women. Prolific beauty Heather Angel stars as the 'femme fatal' in this adventure that happens at Bulldog's country estate in England.

Bulldog's friend Algy has called for Bulldog to come home because he is in crisis in the hospital. Bulldog lands his private plane at the local air field during a dense fog in death-defying manner and rushes to the hospital to visit his friend. It turns out that his friend is not in serious medical danger, but rather is on the verge of becoming a father. While at the hospital, a Scotland Yard inspector that knows Bulldog phones him and asks to meet him at his estate as soon as possible. After assuring Algy that he, like millions of men before him, will get through this crises in fine manner, Bulldog gets in his convertible roadster and heads for his nearby estate. On a lonely dark road a young beautiful girl runs out in front of his car, and although he stops before hitting her, she falls to the ground. She is not hurt, and she opens her eyes enough to see Drummond, then pretends that she is out cold. Drummond picks her up and puts her in the back seat of his car, just as shots ring out and a cry for help comes from the nearby swamp. Bulldog rushes into the woods to find the person crying for help, and discovers a man dying and sinking into the swamp. He then hears his car starting up and being driven away, and rushes back to the road where he sees the girl driving his car frantically down the road.

After walking and trying without success to get a ride with the passing cars, his butler drives up in his car, having found it on the road near his estate. Together they discover the lady's purse and her name, and the butler informs Bulldog that she is part of the family that has rented the Greystone mansion next to Bulldog's estate. They go to Greystone mansion to meet the young lady and return her purse. When inside, Bulldog meets a bearded man that he immediately distrusts, and when Phyllis is called down to meet Bulldog and get her purse back, there is decided tension in the air. After getting her purse back, Phyllis returns to her room, but on the way tries to secretly put a note in the inner brim of Bulldog's hat asking him for help because she is being imprisoned. Bulldog finds the note, and returns to his estate to meet the waiting Scotland Yard inspector. The inspector asks Bulldog for a favor - please leave the country - go anywhere, but just leave England. When Bulldog asks why, the inspector explains that every time Bulldog shows up there are murders and trouble, and the inspector is wanting to have a peaceful vacation in the country and brush up on his golf game. When Bulldog tells the Inspector about the lady in distress next door, the inspector informs him that the folks caring for her are some of his best friends, and that she is a bit daffy, and they are watching out for her and her inheritance. Of course, Bulldog is not convinced, and he presses on to communicate with the gal and try to help her.

For the rest of the movie, Bulldog, his buddy Algy and his intrepid butler sleuth around trying to discover what is really happening at the Greystone mansion, with the Scotland Yard man trying to stop him at every step. As this adventure unwinds, through every attempt at Bulldog's life and limb, he maintains a smiling, 'do your worst to me, I'll still win in the end' attitude that just makes you admire this fellow, as he stays one step ahead of the bad guys and the Scotland Yard Inspector. The time will fly as you munch on you hot buttered popcorn and sip on a cold soda, and watch as Bulldog Drummond once again outwits the evil doers and justice prevails and he wins not only freedom for the young heiress, but also her affection.