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Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

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

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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.



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



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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?


Linda Darnell was initially set to co-star. See more »


The real William Caldwell was not killed in the Mohawk Valley assault on the fort as suggested by the film but lived to fight on the British side during the War of 1812. See more »


Mrs. McKlennar: Your thoughts are your own property, Martin, but keep them to yourself.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 50 Years of Magic (1990) See more »


America, My Country Tis of Thee
Music by Henry Carey from "God Save the King" (1744)
Arranged by Edward B. Powell
In the score when the new American flag is raised at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Neglected gem! One of John Ford's finest films...
13 May 2001 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

1939 was a banner year for great films--and certainly one of them was "Drums Along the Mohawk" in gorgeous early technicolor about a period in history not often used as the subject of a major film. Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert are fine as a young couple in the years before the Revolutionary War settling in the backwoods of New York state. The hardships of pioneer life are made even tougher by the presence of Indians on the warpath, the only refuge being a nearby fort where men, women and children find some protection.

Brilliantly photographed with lots of action scenes that bring the film vividly to life under John Ford's direction. John Carradine makes an excellent villain and Edna May Oliver gives another one of her priceless performances as an elderly widow who forms a strong attachment to the young couple. An unforgettable scene has Indians raiding her home while she refuses to budge from her bed even though they set fire to it. Scenes of Indian cruelty and torture are also present--but altogether a moving film well worth viewing to see what frontier life must have been like way back then.

Sentimental at times--but also harsh and realistic. Most memorable scene: Fonda pursued by Indians for a long chase over woodlands, finally wearing out his pursuers who collapse from sheer exhaustion. Thrilling chase!

27 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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