Sunday, August 27, 2017
Warner Oland vs Ronald Coleman in BULLDOG DRUMMOND STRIKES BACK (1934)
Good little thriller is better once things get going about a half an hour in. Coleman is an amusing hero and his battle with Oland, particularly towards the end, is rather amusing since it leaves Oland's character completely apoplectic, something we never saw in all of the Charlie Chan or Fu Manchu films that Oland made. The film's mix of danger and comedy doesn't always work, especially when we find out what is really going on, the denouncement is much darker than some of the earlier silliness suggests, and I for one felt rather uneasy laughing at what Oland and his crew was really trying to do.
A solid thriller of the sort they don't make any more, and didn't make as an A film that often after this was released. Worth a look if you get the chance.
(This film was recently shown at the TCM Fest. Apparently it has been restored by MOMA, But because of a rights problem with Criterion and Fox it's never been on TV- but can be had on the collectors market)