President Grant orders Indian fighter MacKay to negotiate with the Modocs of northern California and southern Oregon. On the way he must escort Nancy Meek to the home of her aunt and uncle.... See full summary »
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President Grant orders Indian fighter MacKay to negotiate with the Modocs of northern California and southern Oregon. On the way he must escort Nancy Meek to the home of her aunt and uncle. After Modoc renegade Captain Jack engages in ambush and other atrocities, MacKay must fight him one-on-one with guns, knives and fists. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Standard western fare that has the US Cavalry trying to put down an Indian uprising after the Civil War
"Drum Beat", released in 1954 pits Alan Ladd, as an Indian fighter turned peace commissioner, against the leader of the Modoc Indians of N. California, led by Charles Bronson. Ladd, as Johnny McKay, has an intense bitterness towards Indians in general, as they had slaughtered his family years earlier. However, Pres. Grant desires him to work with the Modoc tribe, in particular, to bring peace in the area of California and Oregon. The Modoc chief, Captain Jack, played by Charles Bronson, feels that an area of land is Modoc land only, and it is his to take, and keep. He also has an intense feeling toward the army medals and blue coats, which, to him, are symbols of power and authority. He even kills a retired army colonel, and seizes the medals off the coat the man was wearing.
Ladd, with the aid of Modoc Indians that desire peace, attempts to settle the conflict, but hostilities do break out between the tribe and the soldiers. This was the role that Ladd seemed to shine best in, that of the tight-lipped, slow-to-anger, tough guy. Watchable western fare.
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