HC “Sapper” McNeile’s debonair adventurer hero “Bulldog” Drummond was updated here to capitalise on the James Bond phenomenon.
Richard Johnson may be a bit stuffy and lack the virile magnetism of Sean Connery’s 007, but nevertheless gives a good account of himself as the bachelor insurance man investigating the untimely ends of a friend and several high rollers.
Drummond, a former soldier and freelance fixer, is hired to investigate a corrupt industrialist and his troublesome cohorts, a pair of deadly female assassins (played with mischievous glee by Elke Sommer and Sylva Koscina) whose bickering exchanges and bitchy one-upmanship are a twisted joy.
Johnson and Nigel Green (The Ipcress File) also enjoy some memorable verbal sparring amid the surprisingly vivid violence and less surprising casual sexism.
Originally a hit spy series in print and on film during the 1920s and 1930s, Drummond was revived in the wake of the success of the James Bond series, for this and a further ‘60s escapade, Some Girls Do.
The Walker Brothers‘ title song and Euro locations lend proceedings a touch of class, adding to the appeal of what so easily could have been just another contrived spy yarn.
Hugh ‘Bulldog’ Drummond
Sir John Bledlow