Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Bulldog Drummond

Bulldog Drummond was a radio crime drama in the United States. It was broadcast on Mutual April 13, 1941 – March 28, 1954.

 Bulldog Drummond was "a British investigator called 'Bulldog' because he was relentless in the pursuit of criminals." The character was created by British author H. C. McNeile. In addition to McNeile's books, Drummond was featured in a series of films from Paramount Pictures in the 1930s. Drummond was described as "a polished man-about-town, whose hobby is crime detection and the apprehension of criminals."

Radio historian John Dunning commented, "With his sidekick Denny, Captain Hugh Drummond solved the usual run of murders, collected the usual run of bumps on the head, and ran afoul of underworld characters ranging from radium thieves to counterfeiters." In a 1948 column in the Oakland Tribune, media critic John Crosby called the program "the first of the more successful exemplars of radio espionage and intrigue."

One notable aspect of Bulldog Drummond was its opening (created by producer-director Himan Brown), which "evoked a London ambiance with footsteps, a foghorn, shots, and three blasts of a police whistle." Following the sound effects, an announcer introduced the program with the line, "Out of the fog ... out of the night ... and into his American adventures ... comes ... Bulldog Drummond."

The program was initially set in Great Britain, but after two months the setting was moved to the
United States, thus leading some sources to identify it as The American Adventures of Bulldog Drummond. In another change from the books, the radio program omitted Drummond's wife "and his gaggle of ex-army comrades." He did, however, keep his butler, Denny.

Drummond and Denny were the series' only regular characters. Over the years, Drummond was played by George Coulouris, Santos Ortega, Ned Wever, and Cedric Hardwicke. Actors portraying Denny were Everett Sloane, Luis van Rooten, and Rod Hendrickson. Others appearing frequently on the program were Agnes Moorehead, Paul Stewart, Ray Collins, and Mercedes McCambridge.

Announcers for Bulldog Drummond were Ted Brown, Henry Morgan, and Robert Shepard. The show's writers were Allan E. Sloane, Leonard Leslie, Edward J. Adamson, and Jay Bennett.

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