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Old 11-27-2016, 08:10 PM
helenedwards helenedwards is offline
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DRUMS OF JEOPARDY (1931)

Y’know, a person’s got to sit through a whole mess of bad, creaky, ponderous 1930s movies mysteries to uncover the good ones that come along every once in a while, and that’s why I’m so pleased to tell you about DRUMS OF JEOPARDY (1931), a fast-moving thriller that entertains from the first reel to the last.

Warner Oland is Dr. Boris Karlov(!), who has just gotten word that his daughter has taken her own life because she was, ahem, “ruined” by a man of some prominence. Karlov discovers in her possessions a fabled necklace called “The Drums of Jeopardy”, so called because the bauble contains four rubies, each held in a setting that appears to be an Indian beating a drum. Legend has it that the stones are a portent of death. The necklace belongs to the Petrov family, pretenders to the Russian throne. Karlov vows to murder each of the four Petrov men (two brothers, and uncle, and a grandfather) who may be the lout that, ahem, “ruined’ his daughter. Got all that?

The two older men are soon victims of Karlov’s machinations, and the two brothers (Lloyd Hughes and Wallace MacDonald) are hiding out in the country mansion of the beautiful June Collyer (and I mean REALLY beautiful; she’s a stunner) and her grizzled old aunt (Clara Blandick, a/k/a “Auntie Em”, in a funny supporting role). Hale Hamilton is the Secret Service agent trying to protect them (and doing a really poor job of it), Mischa Auer is Karlov’s creepy henchman, and much more stuff than I could tell you here happens in the fast-paced 66 minutes. Director George Seitz had gotten his helming such silent serials as THE ROMANCE OF ELAINE and THE IRON CLAW, and his cliffhanger training comes in handy here, as the heroes and villains battle from a Manhattan wharf to the rooftops of New York to an old abandoned mill. Perils and death traps abound, and Oland is a very nasty, very memorable villain, one of those maniacal movie madmen that takes gleeful delight in how rotten they are. When he threatens to kill Miss Collyer, the brave, dashing Petrov brother (the other one’s a lout) offers himself in her place: “You can do whatever you want with me!” he stoically avers. “I won’t even cry out!” Oland sneers, “I WANT you to cry out.” Early in the film, he pretends to be a medical doctor to attend to one of the wounded Petrov men. “Is he going to die?” a bystander asks. “That would not surprise me at all,” Oland deadpans.

This is the kind of movie in which every night is pitch-dark and stormy, every flash of lightning reveals a face at the window, and nobody is to be trusted, even the cops. It is great fun and highly recommended. The Alpha DVD is pretty good, all things considered.

(Incidentally, “Boris Karlov” must’ve been more than a coincidence; both Seitz and Oland had worked with Boris Karloff in THE LIGHTNING RAIDER, a 1919 Pearl White serial. This was an in-joke that must’ve caused a lot of raised eyebrows once FRANKENSTEIN was released later in 1931.


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Last edited by helenedwards; 12-06-2016 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:55 PM
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Yeah, looks cool. Great artwork.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:23 PM
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I have a copy of this movie. It was great

Bought because Warner Oland was in it.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenedwards View Post
Y’know, a person’s got to sit through a whole mess of bad, creaky, ponderous 1930s movies mysteries to uncover the good ones that come along every once in a while, and that’s why I’m so pleased to tell you about DRUMS OF JEOPARDY (1931), a fast-moving thriller that entertains from the first reel to the last.

Warner Oland is Dr. Boris Karlov(!), who has just gotten word that his daughter has taken her own life because she was, ahem, “ruined” by a man of some prominence. Karlov discovers in her possessions a fabled necklace called “The Drums of Jeopardy”, so called because the bauble contains four rubies, each held in a setting that appears to be an Indian beating a drum. Legend has it that the stones are a portent of death. The necklace belongs to the Petrov family, pretenders to the Russian throne. Karlov vows to murder each of the four Petrov men (two brothers, and uncle, and a grandfather) who may be the lout that, ahem, “ruined’ his daughter. Got all that?

The two older men are soon victims of Karlov’s machinations, and the two brothers (Lloyd Hughes and Wallace MacDonald) are hiding out in the country mansion of the beautiful June Collyer (and I mean REALLY beautiful; she’s a stunner) and her grizzled old aunt (Clara Blandick, a/k/a “Auntie Em”, in a funny supporting role). Hale Hamilton is the Secret Service agent trying to protect them (and doing a really poor job of it), Mischa Auer is Karlov’s creepy henchman, and much more stuff than I could tell you here happens in the fast-paced 66 minutes. Director George Seitz had gotten his helming such silent serials as THE ROMANCE OF ELAINE and THE IRON CLAW, and his cliffhanger training comes in handy here, as the heroes and villains battle from a Manhattan wharf to the rooftops of New York to an old abandoned mill. Perils and death traps abound, and Oland is a very nasty, very memorable villain, one of those maniacal movie madmen that takes gleeful delight in how rotten they are. When he threatens to kill Miss Collyer, the brave, dashing Petrov brother (the other one’s a lout) offers himself in her place: “You can do whatever you want with me!” he stoically avers. “I won’t even cry out!” Oland sneers, “I WANT you to cry out.” Early in the film, he pretends to be a medical doctor to attend to one of the wounded Petrov men. “Is he going to die?” a bystander asks. “That would not surprise me at all,” Oland deadpans.

This is the kind of movie in which every night is pitch-dark and stormy, every flash of lightning reveals a face at the window, and nobody is to be trusted, even the cops. It is great fun and highly recommended. The Alpha DVD is pretty good, all things considered.

(Incidentally, “Boris Karlov” must’ve been more than a coincidence; both Seitz and Oland had worked with Boris Karloff in THE LIGHTNING RAIDER, a 1919 Pearl White serial. This was an in-joke that must’ve caused a lot of raised eyebrows once FRANKENSTEIN was released later in 1931.


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I'll have to check this film out!

According to wiki, this is very likely only a coincidence...

Quote:
In Canada he began appearing in theatrical performances, and during this period he adopted the professional name of "Boris Karloff". Some have theorised that he took the stage name from a mad scientist character in the novel The Drums of Jeopardy called "Boris Karlov". However, the novel was not published until 1920, at least eight years after Karloff had been using the name on stage and in silent films (Warner Oland played "Boris Karlov" in a film version in 1931).
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