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Apache Drums (1951)

 -  Western  -  April 1951 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 311 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 8 critic

A gambler is thrown out of a western town, but returns when the town is suddenly threatened by a band of marauding Apaches.



(screenplay), (from "Stand at Spanish Boot")
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Title: Apache Drums (1951)

Apache Drums (1951) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Complete credited cast:
Stephen McNally ...
Sam Leeds
Willard Parker ...
Mayor Joe Madden
Arthur Shields ...
Rev. Griffin
Lt. Glidden
Armando Silvestre ...
Georgia Backus ...
Mrs. Keon
Ruthelma Stevens ...
Betty Careless
Bert Keon
Chinto Guzman ...
Ray Bennett ...
Mr. Keon


A gambler is thrown out of a western town, but returns when the town is suddenly threatened by a band of marauding Apaches.

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Release Date:

April 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apache Drums  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The "Apache" Indians are actually lifeguards from the beach at Santa Monica, California, painted with full body paint and made up to look like Apaches. Director Hugo Fregonese and producer Val Lewton wanted the Apaches to do a lot of leaping from high windows, off of roofs, etc., and the film's budget precluded hiring stuntmen to play the Apaches. They decided to hire the lifeguards because of their athleticism and, more importantly, the fact that they didn't have to get stuntmen's pay. See more »


The Apache are shown beating the drums with their hands, whereas they and all Native Americans used sticks or drum beaters. See more »


Joe Madden: I got a knack at healing. I know something about it.
Sam Leeds: Look, you're a great horse doctor, Joe, and...
Joe Madden: There isn't much difference between a horse and a human. At least I know how to get started. You wouldn't even know that.
See more »


Featured in Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Don't bother.
20 January 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This really is a poor film.

Whilst the basic story is a typical good old yarn, the performances (with the exception of James Griffith as the Army commander) are very one-dimensional and the characters are hackneyed and do not develop.

The production values are also very low and make-up on some of the "Apaches" in the title are more akin to a horror movie than a western, consequently one's mind starts to wander which is not helped by such a pedestrian-paced storyline.

And as for direction, there is a literally-laugh-out-loud scene when they sing where you can not only tell that everyone singing is from the Welsh valleys that even the main character does not lip-synch in time.

Although there is a slight raising of tension towards the latter parts of the film it is only slight and not really enough to make you have any doubt about the ending.

I love westerns and am trying to see as many as I can at the moment but this is one of which I wish I had not bothered wasting an hour and a half of my time.

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