IMDb > Drums (1938)
The Drum
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Drums (1938) More at IMDbPro »The Drum (original title)

Photos (See all 5 | slideshow)


User Rating:
6.6/10   508 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
A.E.W. Mason (by)
Lajos Biró (adaptation)
View company contact information for Drums on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 September 1938 (USA) See more »
A CAST OF 3000
Set in the India of the British Raj. All the Indians are portrayed as untrustworthy, plotting to overthrow their British masters... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
(5 articles)
Christopher Challis
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 10 June 2012, 4:06 PM, PDT)

Eclipse Series 30 - Sabu! (Elephant Boy / The Drum / The Jungle Book)
 (From GreenCine. 14 December 2011, 4:49 PM, PST)

Daily Briefing. Sabu!
 (From MUBI. 30 November 2011, 3:07 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Very un-PC and jingoistic but still quite fun at turns See more (18 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Sabu ... Prince Azim

Raymond Massey ... Prince Ghul

Roger Livesey ... Capt. Carruthers

Valerie Hobson ... Mrs. Carruthers
David Tree ... Lieut. Escott
Desmond Tester ... Bill Holder
Francis L. Sullivan ... Governor (as Francis L.Sullivan)
Archibald Batty ... Major Bond
Frederick Culley ... Dr.Murphy
Amid Taftazani ... Mohammed Khan
Laurence Baskcomb ... Zarullah
Roy Emerton ... Wafadar
Michael Martin Harvey ... Mullah
Martin Walker ... Herrick
Ronald Adam ... Major Gregoff
Charles Oliver ... Rajab
Julien Mitchell ... Sergeant (as Julian Mitchell)
Miriam Pieris ... Indian Dancer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gerald Campion ... Soldier (uncredited)

Leo Genn ... Abdul Fakir (uncredited)
Alf Goddard ... Private Kelly (uncredited)
Edward Lexy ... Sgt. Major Kernel (uncredited)
Harry Meakin ... Warrant Officer (uncredited)
Graham Moffatt ... Drummer (uncredited)

Guy Rolfe ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Ralph Truman ... Dinner Guest (uncredited)
Edward Underdown ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)

Directed by
Zoltan Korda 
Writing credits
A.E.W. Mason (by)

Lajos Biró (adaptation) (as Lajos Biro)

Arthur Wimperis (scenario) &
Patrick Kirwan (scenario) &
Hugh Gray (scenario)

Produced by
Alexander Korda .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
John Greenwood 
Cinematography by
Osmond Borradaile (photographed by) (Indian location scenes)
Georges Périnal (photographed by) (as Georges Perinal)
Film Editing by
Henry Cornelius 
Production Design by
Vincent Korda (uncredited)
Costume Design by
René Hubert (uncredited)
Production Management
David B. Cunynghame .... production manager
Art Department
Vincent Korda .... settings designer: in colour
Ferdinand Bellan .... associate art director (uncredited)
Sound Department
A.W. Watkins .... sound director
Visual Effects by
W. Percy Day .... matte painter (uncredited)
Peter Ellenshaw .... assistant matte artist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Christopher Challis .... focus puller (uncredited)
Robert Krasker .... camera operator (uncredited)
Editorial Department
William Hornbeck .... supervising editor
Maurice Harley .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Muir Mathieson .... musical director
Miklós Rózsa .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Other crew
Hector Campbell .... technical adviser (as Brigadier Hector Campbell C.B. D.S.O. M.V.O.)
Aldo Ermini .... photographic adviser: Technicolor
F.D. Henslowe .... technical adviser (as Lieut.Colonel F.D.Henslowe)
Natalie Kalmus .... Technicolor color director
His Highness the Mehtar of Chitral .... London Film Productions wish to record their appreciation of the valuable assistance extended to them by, during the making of this picture
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Drum" - UK (original title)
See more »
104 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Wide Range Noiseless Recording)
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | UK:U (passed with cuts) | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1988) | USA:Approved (PCA #01655)

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in Boxcar Bertha (1972)See more »
Penny For Your ThoughtsSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
12 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Very un-PC and jingoistic but still quite fun at turns, 3 February 2004
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

In colonial India, the natives live happily and peacefully under the kind rule of their British masters. Representing the bond between the two nations, young Prince Azim befriends several of the British officers. However his uncle Ghul is less welcoming of the British and has dark plans to slaughter them and raise a rebellion among the tribes of the hills.

Some critics have pointed to the fact that, if this film were made today, it work spark outrage and be roundly condemned. This view ignores that, when the film was first screened in India in the late 30's, it sparked riots among the populace. However, the statement is true as well as being null and void, for there is zero danger of this film ever being made now! The plot is very pro-Empire and it is brazenly flag waving for the British. Looking back now, the film is laughable in it's depiction of it's characters. The British are kind and loving to all the Indians they encounter, while the Indians love them in return; those that don't are, of course, shifty and untrustworthy.

This is rather insulting if you think about it too much - I must admit I wasn't offended but then I am neither English or Indian and know little of the history that is clearly being twisted here in favour of propaganda. The film does have a nice vein of good humour to it though that prevents it being too heavy, while the battle scenes are of the `up'n'over' school of filming. The plot itself is too simplistic and can't keep the charade up - especially now that it will be clear to most viewers that it isn't a fair telling.

The cast are good, but again, there's no way that an `Indian' film would be shot today in Wales with the majority of the cast in blackface! The standout actor is Sabu. True his character is a little too good to be true but he has cheeky attitude and he is good fun throughout - just a shame his character seem to vanish for about a quarter of the film. The villainous Massey is also good fun and I enjoyed his performance. The British (namely Livesey and Hobson) are very stiff, although they do get the more heroic roles towards the end.

Overall this film is worth seeing as we will hopefully not see quite it's like again. The film is un-PC in casting, script, plot and characters, while the history it claims to tell is nothing more than a flag waving exercise that rightly started angry riots in Indian when it was shown there. However it is worth seeing for the period, the glorious (for the time) Technicolor and an amusing and fun performance from Sabu.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (18 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Drums (1938)


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Storm Over Bengal The English Patient The Four Feathers Black Narcissus Khartoum
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Adventure section IMDb UK section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.