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Drums in the Deep South (1951)

Approved | | Drama, History, Romance | September 1951 (USA)
Two old friends find themselves on opposite sides during the Civil War in a desperate battle atop an impregnable mountain.


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

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Complete credited cast:
Maj. Clay Clayburn
Kathy Summers
Maj. Will Denning
Sgt. Mac McCardle
Robert Osterloh ...
Sgt. Harper
Tom Fadden ...
Col. House
Col. Braxton Summers
Albert Monroe
Lewis Martin ...
Gen. Johnston
Union Corporal
Corp. Jennings


Best friends Clay Clayburn and Will Denning graduate from West Point only to soon find themselves fighting on opposite sides of the Civil War. When the two men meet each other in combat, neither knows it as each is in an artillery position hundreds of yards from the other. However, the love of Clay's life, Kathy Summers, does know and tries desperately to save her two good friends from killing each other. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A handful of heroes on a powder-keg mountain !


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

September 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Confederate Story  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$300,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »


The claimed range to the main target of 1,500 yards is well beyond the accurate range of any 12 pound gun in the Civil War, even allowing for the elevation of a mountain top. See more »


Gen. Johnston: A good soldier dies only once, and death is someone he knows.
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Music by Daniel Decatur Emmett
Quoted often in the score
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The king of cool
27 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Make no mistake, Guy Madison invented the word "cool". Any dictionary dated before his birth that has the word "cool" in it, is a forgery.

Knowing this helps to cast him in the correct role. He was meant to be the "cool" character who makes sense out of situations in which lesser characters lose their heads.

Here, he is perfectly cast. He is the fourth character, actually, in the love triangle, which is where he does best.

The southern belle's husband appears only briefly, and is afterwards only spoken of in his endeavors in this Civil War adventure.

The other member of the triangle is an artillery officer for the South, who resembles Gable in looks, but in character is more like John Wayne.

Guy Madison plays the Union artillery officer opposing him. He is also a friend of all three of the other characters.

The story is a familiar one, one that has been made many times since, of Confederates on a mountain, trying to buy time for their army.

What really makes this film special is that it could have been cliché, but it avoids all of the clichés. The characters are probably much too believable and three dimensional for the modern beavis or butthead, but easy for most people to relate to and feel some empathy for. This is not for the IMDb bubble boy.

The soldiers are especially three dimensional. One Union soldier whom we expect to be the usual cliché jerk, actually becomes a very sympathetic character in this drama.

The events seem to be written as they occur. Nothing looks contrived, so when we find the coincidence of the friends meeting in battle on opposite sides, it becomes the only coincidence, making it quite credible, as in a world where there are a million possible coincidences an hour, one is sure to happen.

It is the natural flow and non judgmental occurrences, where the chips land wherever they may land, that make this special.

Excellent war Western.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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