Perhaps the previous one was "Bulldog Drummond Wanders Away" or Bulldog Drummond Strolls Off, Absently Scratching Himself" or "Bulldog Drummond Excuses Himself from the Dinner Table to See A Man About a Horse" but it doesn't matter; might as well call them "Bulldog Drummond Does Something" and people would still sit through it, patiently watching the cast go through the paces, waiting for the lead feature to start.
This one comes before the previous one, I think. Bulldog and his fiancee are still not married, which can be partially explained by the fact that Miss Clavering looks different in this one. Algae and Tenny the Stroke-Addled Butler are played by the same actors. I think. It’s hard to tell, since either the print is horribie or it was shot using an all-ectoplasmic cast:
Here’s the villain, Baron Von Milkpuss:
As usual, the Scotland Yard inspector shows up, and doesn’t bother to ask Bulldog why the hell he never takes off his trenchcoat and hat. Are you naked under there, man? Been sprawled over the desk getting a caning from the manservant? The lighting and the condition of the print reveals that the doors to Bulldog’s estate might be painted. Possible?
Miss Claveringlyingly is kidnapped by a femme-fatale with a Roosian accent; it seems she and the other indistinctly featured bad guy are revenging the death of someone Bulldog sent to the gallows in a previous movie. They attempt to lure him to his doom with . . . riddles. For the audience’s sake, the riddles are repeated often enough so you can play along too.
The damned thing is round and flat - but it isn't a hat? Not a hat? Yet it still carries a message, despite its non-hat status? What could it be?
Why, it’s a gramophone record. They go to the record player, and hello, there’s a record on the platter with a typewritten label that says “For Capt. Drummond.” They could have told him to go listen to the gramophone, I suppose, but we chewed up five minutes with that riddle.
Following the record’s instructions, they head to a dive bar where everyone’s singing “What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor.” Always thought that was a curious song; why do you have to do anything with him? Let him be. If you’re a sailor yourself, which seems to be implied by the song, surely this isn’t your first encounter with a drunken sailor. Draw on your experience. First suggestion: put him in the longboat until he’s sober. Why? Why go to the trouble? Leave him where he is. Then there’s the conclusion: “Oh, God, we’ve got to drown him.” Yes, that follows quite logically.
Algae looks like a Kiwanis president at his first leather bar:
On it goes, with a complete lack of suspense or drama – at least by modern standards. The camera is bolted to the floor; every shot is hip-to-head, and the bad guys construct an elaborate fate instead of just shooting everyone in the head and leaving it at that. In true “Batman” TV show fashion, the villains walk away once the fatal machinery has been set in motion. Nothing can possibly go wrong with our plan now! Having waited a year for revenge, let us now deny ourselves the pleasure of seeing our adversary's dead body, and drive away, cackling. The best part comes early, when Bulldog himself sums up the first half of every one of these damned things:
Because it's 1937 and this isn't the main feature, my friend.