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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 <email@example.com>
At the time of its 1948 USA re-release, this film was most often shown on the top half of a double bill, along with the USA re-release of The Four Feathers (1939) on the lower half of the program. See more »
A wicked Khan plans to use THE DRUM perched high up in his palace walls to signal the massacre of British soldiers invited to a banquet.
Sir Alexander Korda's London Films was responsible for this lively Technicolor action film which boasted outdoor scenes shot near the North-West Frontier with the assistance of the Mehtar of Chitral. It blends excitement, humor & history - definitely from a British viewpoint - into an attractive package sure to entertain the viewer lucky enough to find it.
Indian actor Sabu stars as the young Prince of Tokot who finds his life suddenly become very dangerous when he's forced to flee his usurping uncle and accept protection from the British Raj. Plummy-voiced Roger Livesey plays the Raj's stalwart envoy to Tokot who must find a way to stop the import of weapons to the evil new Khan, Raymond Massey, who is fomenting a rebellion. All three actors play their parts very well, with Massey especially attacking his villainous role with gusto.
Also in the cast are Valerie Hobson as Livesey's courageous wife; David Tree as a junior officer; and corpulent Francis L. Sullivan as the local Governor in Peshawar. Alfred Goddard appears unbilled as the hapless private Kelly.
Born Sabu Dastagir in 1924, Sabu was employed in the Maharaja of Mysore's stables when he was discovered by Korda's company and set before the cameras. His first four films (ELEPHANT BOY-1937, THE DRUM-1938, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD-1940, JUNGLE BOOK-1942) were his best and he found himself working out of Hollywood when they were completed. After distinguished military service in World War II he resumed his film career, but he became endlessly confined for years playing ethnic roles in undistinguished minor films, BLACK NARCISSUS (1947) being the one great exception. His final movie, Walt Disney's A TIGER WALKS (1964) was an improvement, but it was too late. Sabu had died of a heart attack in late 1963, only 39 years of age.
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