6.5/10
634
20 user 8 critic

Drums (1938)

The Drum (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure, War | 29 September 1938 (USA)
Set in the India of the British Raj. All the Indians are portrayed as untrustworthy, plotting to overthrow their British masters. The only 'loyal' Indian is Prince Azim who tries to warn ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(by), (adaptation) (as Lajos Biro) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In British India, a young prince must be taken to safey across rebel-held territory, and an old train is the only way to do it.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Kenneth More, Lauren Bacall, Herbert Lom
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A quirky British secret service man named Major Hammond tries to discover who is using a secret weapon to steal experimental planes.

Directors: Tim Whelan, Arthur B. Woods
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Valerie Hobson
Gunga Din (1939)
Adventure | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 19th century India, three British soldiers and a native waterbearer must stop a secret mass revival of the murderous Thuggee cult before it can rampage across the land.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Victor McLaglen
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A timid British Army officer has quit and burns his last day summons to a war in Egypt. Calling him a coward, his girl friend and 3 officer friends give him a white feather. In redemption, he shadows his friends in war to save their lives.

Director: Zoltan Korda
Stars: John Clements, Ralph Richardson, C. Aubrey Smith
Drama | Sci-Fi | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of a century: a decades-long second World War leaves plague and anarchy, then a rational state rebuilds civilization and attempts space travel.

Director: William Cameron Menzies
Stars: Raymond Massey, Edward Chapman, Ralph Richardson
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A noblewoman discovers her husband is The Scarlet Pimpernel, a vigilante who rescues aristocrats from the blade of the guillotine.

Director: Harold Young
Stars: Leslie Howard, Merle Oberon, Raymond Massey
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A CinemaScope remake of "The Four Feathers"

Directors: Zoltan Korda, Terence Young
Stars: Anthony Steel, Laurence Harvey, James Robertson Justice
Our Town (1940)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Change comes slowly to a small New Hampshire town in the early 20th century. People grow up, get married, live, and die. Milk and the newspaper get delivered every morning, and nobody locks... See full summary »

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: William Holden, Martha Scott, Fay Bainter
Adventure | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

British District Officer in Nigeria in the 1930's rules his area strictly but justly, and struggles with gun-runners and slavers with the aid of a loyal native chief.

Director: Zoltan Korda
Stars: Paul Robeson, Leslie Banks, Nina Mae McKinney
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the back country of South Africa, black minister Stephen Kumalo (Canada Lee) journeys to the city to search for his missing son, only to find his people living in squalor and his son a ... See full summary »

Director: Zoltan Korda
Stars: Canada Lee, Sidney Poitier, Charles Carson
Sabotage (1936)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Scotland Yard undercover detective is on the trail of a saboteur who is part of a plot to set off a bomb in London. But when the detective's cover is blown, the plot begins to unravel.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Oskar Homolka, Desmond Tester
Action | Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two noble Scottish brothers deliberately take opposite sides when Bonnie Prince Charlie returns to claim the throne of Scotland in order to preserve the family fortune.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Errol Flynn, Roger Livesey, Anthony Steel
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Governor (as Francis L.Sullivan)
Archibald Batty ...
Frederick Culley ...
Amid Taftazani ...
Mohammed Khan
Laurence Baskcomb ...
Zarullah (as Lawrence Baskcomb)
Roy Emerton ...
Wafadar
Michael Martin Harvey ...
Mullah
Martin Walker ...
Herrick
...
Major Gregoff
Edit

Storyline

Set in the India of the British Raj. All the Indians are portrayed as untrustworthy, plotting to overthrow their British masters. The only 'loyal' Indian is Prince Azim who tries to warn the British of the impending revolt by tapping out messages on the Drum of the title. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A CAST OF 3000 See more »

Genres:

Adventure | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 September 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Drums  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Noiseless Wide Range Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was included in the first syndicated television presentation of a package of major studio feature films on USA television; it premiered in Philadelphia Friday 8 October 1948 on WFIL (Channel 6), followed by Los Angeles Sunday 7 November 1948 on KTLA (Channel 5) and by New York City Friday 12 November 1948 on WPIX (Channel 11).. Although filmed in Technicolor, these telecasts were in B&W, since color broadcasting was still in its experimental stage. The package consisted of 24 Alexander Korda productions originally released theatrically between 1933 and 1942. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Round the Film Studios: No. 2 Denham Part 4 (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Penny For Your Thoughts
(uncredited)
Written by Lee Sims
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Humour, heroics and Sabu
16 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

From 'Kim' to 'Carry On up the Khyber', from the famous to the infamous (stand up, Harry Flashman!), the North-West Frontier has proved a fertile source of conflict both fictional and historical... and deposed rulers and fiery mullahs have figured largely from that day to this. The plot of 'The Drum' cribs heavily (and at one point openly, with an impudently-inserted piece of dialogue listing the historical parallels that had been niggling at me!) from real-life events, especially in Afghanistan, and as other stories before and since have been based on the same material, this can result in a certain 'seen-it-all-before' sensation. But the winning element in this film is the touch of humanity and humour which helps the characters to become more than cardboard templates, from the drummer-boy and his misfortunes to the wry jests of the newly-appointed British representative walking open-eyed into a trap. Not to mention that, after a spate of films with seemingly pointless titles, I found it obscurely satisfying to encounter one where the eponymous instrument is actually significant both to the plot and its climax!

The always-excellent Sabu steals the film, as ever, in his role first as a self-possessed princeling and then as a fugitive in exile from his throne; the romantic leads, while well-performed, are less memorable. The tension in the banquet scene is tangible, and Raymond Massey as the usurper brings brains as well as menace to his role. The one element that rather shocked me -- with the exception of the inadvertent glimpse of buttock that reveals exactly what Scotsmen do or don't wear under their kilts! -- was the scene in which the said usurper is shot down by our wounded hero in cold blood, having thrown down his weapon. It's not customary for such an act to be depicted in an apparently approving manner; and certainly not in a film of this period...

I must admit that the question of the period itself had me slightly puzzled, although the mention of syncopation in the drum part for the dance should have given me a clue. I had automatically assumed the story to be set in nineteenth-century India in the heyday of the Raj rather than the contemporary world, and with few European civilian fashions on display, there was nothing to disabuse me of this until the heroine made an appearance in jodhpurs, which came as something of a shock! (And the subconscious resonance with the valleys of 'Carry On up the Khyber' turns out to be based in fact: locations from both were shot in Wales...)

But 'The Drum' is a rousing adventure as they used to make 'em, in the tradition of 'Charge of the Light Brigade' or 'Northwest Frontier'; if you like the genre, this one is a cracker.


15 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page