73 user 45 critic

Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

Approved | | Drama, History, Romance | 10 November 1939 (USA)
2:17 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Newlyweds Gil and Lana Martin try to establish a farm in the Mohawk Valley but are menaced by Indians and Tories as the Revolutinary War begins.



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A fictionalized account of the early life of the American president as a young lawyer facing his greatest court case.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Alice Brady, Marjorie Weaver
Fort Apache (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

At Fort Apache, an honorable and veteran war captain finds conflict when his regime is placed under the command of a young, glory hungry lieutenant colonel with no respect for the local Indian tribe.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A Western retelling the tale of the Shoot-out at the OK Corral.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature
Wagon Master (1950)
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two young drifters guide a Mormon wagon train to the San Juan Valley and encounter cutthroats, Indians, geography, and moral challenges on the journey.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Ben Johnson, Joanne Dru, Harry Carey Jr.
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Aboard the freighter Glencairn, the lives of the crew are lived out in fear, loneliness, suspicion and cameraderie. The men smuggle drink and women aboard, fight with each other, spy on ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Ian Hunter
Jesse James (1939)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.

Directors: Henry King, Irving Cummings
Stars: Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending massive Indian attack. Encumbered by women who must be evacuated, Brittles finds his mission imperiled.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar
The Hurricane (1937)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Polynesian sailor -- unjustly imprisoned after defending himself against a colonial bully -- is relentlessly persecuted by his island's martinet French governor.

Directors: John Ford, Stuart Heisler
Stars: Dorothy Lamour, Jon Hall, Mary Astor
Crime | History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Frank James continues to avoid arrest in order to take revenge on the Ford brothers for their murder of his brother Jesse.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Henry Fonda, Gene Tierney, Jackie Cooper
3 Godfathers (1948)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When 3 outlaws on the run find a dying woman and her newborn baby in the desert they vow to save the child.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Pedro Armendáriz, Harry Carey Jr.
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was imprisoned after innocently treating President Lincoln's assassin in 1865.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Warner Baxter, Gloria Stuart, Claude Gillingwater
Drama | History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When the government agency fails to deliver even the meager supplies due by treaty to the proud Cheyenne tribe in their barren desert reserve, the starving Indians have taken more abuse ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: Richard Widmark, Carroll Baker, Karl Malden


Cast overview, first billed only:
Lana (Magdelana)
Gilbert Martin
Eddie Collins ...
Christian Reall
Mary Reall
Mrs. Weaver
Reverend Rosenkrantz
John Weaver
Roger Imhof ...
Gen. Nicholas Herkimer
Joe Boleo
Mrs. Demooth
Dr. Petry
Spencer Charters ...


In Revolutionary America, Gil Martin takes his new wife Lana back to his farm in upstate New York. The area is remote and a distance from the fort but they are happy living in their one room cabin. With the declaration independence, the settlers soon find themselves at war with the British and their Indian allies. Their farm is burned out and the Martins take work with Sarah McKlennar. The war continues however as the Martins try to make a new life. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Red-Blooded DRAMA !


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 November 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Darryl F. Zanuck's Production of Drums Along the Mohawk  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The real William Caldwell (c. 1750-1822), who is played in the film by John Carradine, is based on a Scots-Irish immigrant who settled initially in Pennsylvania and fought in several wars on the British/Indian side. He is noted as having fought in the Battle of German Flats in the Mohawk Valley as part of the loyalist Butler's Rangers, although nothing is known about his participation, if any, in the Battle of Oriskany. During the Revolutionary War he also fought in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Although it is suggested that Blueback killed him in this film, he survived to fight on the British side in the War of 1812. See more »


Sarah McKlennar is hit with an arrow high in the left breast. The arrow (or shaft) is pulled out. When we see her on her deathbed, she still seems to be wearing the same bodice, but the fabric is intact: there is no hole or bloodstain. See more »


Reverend Rosenkrantz: Any man failing to report to duty will be promptly hanged. Amen.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 1776 AT THE BORST HOME IN ALBANY, NEW YORK See more »


Featured in Peep Show: Local Zero (2004) See more »


Country Gardens
Traditional 18th Century dance
Arranged by Edward B. Powell and Conrad Salinger
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Yeoman Farmers In the Mohawk Valley
5 October 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Drums Along the Mohawk is the story of newlyweds Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert and the trials they faced trying to make a life in the Mohawk River Valley during the Revolutionary War.

The Upstate New York theater save for the key battle of Saratoga was one of the backwater areas of the American Revolution. Still it has a colorful history and it's the one area of the Revolution where the British made use of their allies among the Indians.

Specifically the Iroquois who had supported the British against the French in the Seven Years War 20 year earlier. As a consequence of that support, the Indians were guaranteed no white settlement west of the Appalachian mountains. Saying that and enforcing that were two different propositions. Farmer pioneers as depicted by Fonda and Colbert were not about to be turned back by words in the Treaty of Paris. Of course the Indian side to it was never told on screen at that time in Hollywood.

Still those were brave people who pioneered and the film is a tribute to them. The real person of Nicholas Herkimer and his brave death in the Battle of Oriskany is woven into this story. Herkimer is played by Roger Imhoff and he was the son of German settlers from Hanover. Remember George III was Duke of Hanover and lots of German settlers came to the colonies. Imhoff plays Herkimer with correct German accent and as the gallant hero he was.

John Carradine plays Caldwell the one eyed Tory who leads the Iroquois, Why John Ford just didn't use the real name of Walter Butler for Carradine's character I couldn't say. Yet Caldwell is based on Butler who was right up there with Benedict Arnold as one of the Revolution's deepest, darkest villains. Carradine does well with the part, no shades of gray in his portrayal. You might recall that Butler was one of the 'jury' at the trial in The Devil and Daniel Webster and Lionel Barrymore played him in D.W. Griffith's silent classic, America.

Edna May Oliver is the pioneer widow woman who takes in Fonda and Colbert after their own place is burned to the ground during a raid and won an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She was a hardy soul and she steals the film.

This is John Ford's first Technicolor feature and he really did well in the cinematography department. The forest greens of upstate New York really are depicted well, especially in the part where Henry Fonda is being chased by the Indians as he goes for help in the climax.

Upstate New York was a key area of the American Revolution. With the British occupying New York City for most of the war, upstate was the bridge in which those rabble rousers in New England kept connected with the south. It's why the Battle of Saratoga was so important, why Benedict Arnold's aborted treachery in turning West Point over to them was so important. If it wasn't for those yeoman farmers in the Mohawk Valley there might not be an America today.

And the Mohawk Valley was more important afterwards because another man with vision who was New York's governor named DeWitt Clinton had an idea to extend the headwaters of the Mohawk River straight to Lake Erie with a canal. That act opened up the northwest to trade and made New York the largest city in the USA. No doubt the descendants of Colbert and Fonda worked on the Erie Canal as well.

Drums Along the Mohawk is a nice tribute film to some brave people whose battles on that sideshow theater of the war made possible the very existence of America.

29 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
FIRE WOOD rrjustron
I Wish They Filmed It On The Mohawk rileysum
If this was a British or Canadian movie... Sillyhuron
Good movie robschmidt
How'd these two meet? corriganville
Drums Along the Mohawk Blu-Ray tnsprin-2
Discuss Drums Along the Mohawk (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: