6.1/10
248
10 user 3 critic

South of St. Louis (1949)

The friendship of three Texas Ranchers. Later their ranch was destroyed by Cotrell, of the Union army,and his band of outlaw raiders. The original title was "Distant Drums", this was a description of Civil War army deserters.

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Kip Davis
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Rouge de Lisle
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Charlie Burns
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Deborah Miller
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Lee Price
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Jake Evarts
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Luke Cottrell
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Slim Hansen
Art Smith ...
Bronco
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Captain Jeffrey
...
Manuel
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Storyline

In Missouri during the Civil War, the Three Bell Ranch belonging to Kip Davis, Charlie Burns and Lee Price is destroyed by Luke Cottrell and his guerrilla raiders. Cottrell plunders the region for personal gain rather than in the name of the Union, as he claims. Driven from their land, many settlers move to Texas, still a neutral territory. Kip, Charlie and Lee go to Brownsville, Texas, looking for Cottrell. After a fistfight between Kip and Cottrell, Cottrell is told to leave Texas. While Lee decides to join the Confederate army, Kip and Charlie try to raise money to rebuild their ranch. Eventually, they get involved in smuggling arms for the Confederacy, bypassing the blockade imposed by the Union. This lucrative enterprise brings them into conflict with Cottrell who, after leaving the Union cause, is also smuggling guns out of Mexico. After a series of conflicts, crosses and double-crosses between Cottrell and the three friends, the Confederates capture Brownsville. Kip suggests ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Warner Bros.' Thundering New Triumph!

Genres:

Western

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Details

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Release Date:

3 October 1949 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Distant Drums  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Finnish censorship certificate register # 030779. See more »

Goofs

A revolver commonly seen in the film is the famous Colt Single Action Army Revolver. This design did not appear until 1873, much too late for use in the American Civil War. See more »

Quotes

[after Rouge spurns Charlie's advances in favor of his honest brother Kip]
Charlie Burns: But he doesn't even have a shirt to his name!
Rouge de Lisle: It's not the clothes that make the man, it's how he wears 'em.
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Connections

Referenced in Quicksand (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

It Must Be Fun to Have a Soldier
Performed by Alexis Smith (dubbed by Bonnie Lou Williams)
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User Reviews

Something a little different
28 July 2011 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Lot of different things going on in this enjoyable civil war type western. The plot is set in motion in the opening frames when a ruthless raider named Luke Contrell (I guess he's the union version of William Quantrill) burns out the Three Bells ranch in Texas. The Three Bells is run by 3 friends, Joel McCrea, Zachary Scott and Douglas Kennedy (I hope you don't mind my convention of referring to the characters by the actor's names, it's just easier and apart from Contrell, the names don't mean much) who set of for Brownsville to get even. Contrell carries out his raiding under the protection of the union army, which prevents our hero, Joel McCrea, from doing much more than beating him up and telling him to leave town.

Our three heros -- it's weird seeing Zachary Scott as a hero -- are now kind of shiftless and looking for what to do next. Kennedy decides to join the Confederation and fight in the open. This is kind of different, the movie is set during the Civil War and one of the hero's decides to join the confederation and doesn't feel the need to talk about protecting his way of life. The union army might protect Contrell, but they don't like him much, and the commander offers to buy McCrea a drink after he beats up Contrell -- but McCrea don't drink with Yankees. McCrea and Scott get mixed up in gun running and take to the trade, blockade running guns from Mexico to the confederates.

The romantic sub-plot is that a saloon singer played by Alexis Smith has set her cap for McCrea and McCrea's gal, Dorothy Malone, has followed Kennedy into fighting the good fight as a nurse (the film just never really gets into the nitty gritty of the politics of the civil war). I found the romantic business, usually something of a drag in the avg McCrea feature, to be pretty interesting and not quite so ham handed as is often done.

The production values are not bad, the acting is pretty good, the story interesting and a little different. If you love westerns, and I presume you do if you've read this far, you could do a lot worse that this movie. I enjoyed it quite a bit.


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