BULLDOG DRUMMOND IN AFRICA (1938)
Article #1313 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-18-2004
Posting Date: 3-17-2005
Directed by Louis King
Featuring John Howard, Heather Angel, H.B. Warner
Bulldog Drummond calls off his wedding to rescue Colonel Nielsen, who has been kidnapped by dealers in foreign secrets and taken to Africa.
NOTE: I’ve taken to setting aside a specific section of each of these reviews to highlight the fantastic content of any movie in which the content may not be apparent from the plot description.
Fantastic Content: There’s precious little here. There’s a touch of horror in some scene involving a lion tied to a stake, and there’s a touch of science fiction in the fact that the secret being sought involves the invention of a radiowave destructor. However, the invention not only is not used during the length of the movie, it doesn’t even appear; it is merely talked about. This one is marginal.
Is it just my imagination, or is Bulldog Drummond consistently about to give up his life of adventure to settle down with a woman only to have circumstances fling him back into the world of adventure once again? I know I’ve seen this happen in several of his movies; however, given the sense of humor that pervades these movies, I suspect it’s more of a running joke than a lack of imagination on the part of the writers. At any rate, it’s always fun to revisit Drummond, Tenny, Algy and Colonel Nielsen. I did find this one a little disappointing, though; it didn’t seem quite as witty as the other entries in the series I’ve seen. Nonetheless, it has an exciting ending, and a number of familiar faces in the cast (J. Carrol Naish, Anthony Quinn). Still, the moment that had me most on the edge of my seat is also the funniest moment in the movie, and that’s near the beginning of the movie where I sat with bated breath waiting for someone to explain to me why neither Drummond nor his butler were wearing pants. At least they had an excuse, which is more than Algy had.