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Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

Approved | | Drama, History, Romance | 10 November 1939 (USA)
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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.

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Writers:

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

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Red-Blooded DRAMA !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 November 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Iroquois Confederation was split in its loyalties during the Revolution. The Oneidas sided with the Americans while the Mohawks and Senecas joined with the Hurons and Nipissing First Nation (Ojibwas and Algonquins) on the side of the British. See more »

Goofs

When the Indians first attack the settlers during the land clearing, the first Indian to shoot at the fleeing settlers fires a musket shot and then falls down as though shot before anyone returns fire. See more »

Quotes

Innkeeper: [Humorously to Gil and Lana about Caldwell] ... and that patch over his eye - I bet he lost it trying to see something that was none of his business.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Edited into Mohawk (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Psalm 31
(uncredited)
Composer unknown
Choral arrangement: Frank Tresselt
Sung by the congregation
See more »

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User Reviews

Three-strip Technicolor in all its glory!
26 June 2003 | by (Portland, Oregon) – See all my reviews

Other comments on this film quite well echo my sentiments: John Ford once again exhibits his mastery of the medium, with a minimum of the sentimentality to which he sometimes succumbed; a very young and handsome Henry Fonda wonderfully embodies an ordinary man virtually forced to perform feats of extraordinary heroism; Claudette Colbert, although she seems out of her usually sophisticated element, really cannot be faulted, especially when one considers the Hollywoodized glamor of her makeup and costuming; and Edna May Oliver, heading Ford's customarily astutely chosen supporting cast, almost steals the picture.

But, to my eyes, it is the unusually beautiful Technicolor cinematography by Bert Glennon and Ray Rennahan (the latter being the credited cinematographer on the first feature-length film in three-strip Technicolor, 1935's "Becky Sharp") who deserve the most accolades. Their work simply glows and has that special crispness characteristic of certain early Technicolor films (many of which bore the Twentieth Century Fox label, as it happens.) No doubt, working on outdoor locations with the cumbersome equipment and lighting requirements involved in the use of the Technicolor process at that time, not to mention the lengendarily dictatorial control of the Technicolor Corporation's czarina, Madame (Natalie) Kalmus, and her frequent associate, Henri Jaffa, Messrs. Glennon and Rennahan managed to accomplish one of 1939's finest achievements in color cinematography. With Alfred Newman's fine musical score and all of the other first-class production values lavished on this stirring tale, "Drums Along the Mohawk" deserves a place among the best recreations of those remarkable personal stories that were part of this newly emerging nation.

I am not aware if the available VHS tape transfer does justice to the prints struck from the original negative, but American Movie Classics occasionally shows this title (mercilessly chopped up with endless commercials, etc., as is now their wont) in a version that makes one realize why the invention of color television broadcasting just had to happen!


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