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Distant Drums (1951)

Approved | | Action, Western | 29 December 1951 (USA)
After destroying a Seminole fort, American soldiers and their rescued companions must face the dangerous Everglades and hostile Indians in order to reach safety.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mari Aldon ...
Richard Webb ...
Lt. Richard Tufts
...
Pvt. Mohair
...
Monk
Robert Barrat ...
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Storyline

Navy Lieutenant Tufts accompanies scout Quincy Wyatt into the Everglades to rout the Seminole Indians who are threatening the early settlers in Florida. When the command is forced to run, Wyatt and Seminole Chief Oscala square off in an exciting climax. Written by Buxx Banner <buxx572@aol.com>

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Against unseen jungle terrors and untamed savage tribes ... and pounding war-drums that echoed his challenge !

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Action | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

29 December 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Teufelsbrigade  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Except for Larry Chance, the actors "playing" Seminole Indian warriors were in fact actual Seminoles. See more »

Goofs

In the scene when the soldier shouts the Wilhelm scream a decking at the entrance to and under the water can be seen. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Quincy Wyatt: You know, you can't go through life trying to get even. You know, you can't carry a grudge forever.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are followed immediately by Lt. Richard Tufts (Richard Webb) writing in his LOG "I, Lieutenant Richard Tufts, United States Navy, do make this account of my perilous journey in the Territory of Florida in the year 1840." See more »

Connections

Remake of Objective, Burma! (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Those Seminole Wars
29 August 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

United States Pictures which released Distant Drums through Warner Brothers was I think Gary Cooper's own production company. Looking at The Films of Gary Cooper book, I noticed about three others with same credits in the Fifties of which Distant Drums was the first.

The film was shot on actual location in the Everglades, I think Gary Cooper must have gotten some taste of what Bogey and Hepburn were enduring doing The African Queen. Too bad the story didn't rate the same as The African Queen.

Cooper is an American Army captain on duty with the army of General Zachary Taylor, played by Robert Barrat, who lives on his own island and doesn't dress in any army uniform. Zach Taylor had a reputation for informality, but that was carrying it a bit too far. The only other guy who had his own private island during war was Lt. Commander Quentin McHale and his PT Boat crew.

Anyway Barrat gives Cooper a mission and a Navy lieutenant played by Richard Webb to carry it out. To attack an old Spanish fort and go by boat across Lake Okechoobee. An early type of amphibious warfare. The attack goes off as planned and some civilian prisoners are rescued from the renegades using the fort. But the Seminoles are in hot pursuit of Cooper and the whole bunch through most of the film.

I can't believe by the way that a director like Raoul Walsh had the army and the Seminoles fighting with repeating rifles and six shooter revolving pistols. Stuff wasn't invented yet.

For the early years of the republic, Florida under Spanish rule and loose rule at that, was a thorn in our side. Pirates like the ones you see here used it as a haven for raiding purposes. But it was also a refuge for runaway slaves. Our southern states wanted Florida acquired to put an end to that. The indigenous tribes to Florida, the Seminoles did offer refuge for runaway slaves. So a war there was inevitable, especially when southern presidents like Andrew Jackson were in the White House.

Maybe one day someone will do a proper film on the early history of Florida, but this ain't it.


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