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Drum Beat (1954)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 504 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 7 critic

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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Title: Drum Beat (1954)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Johnny MacKay
...
Nancy Meek
...
Toby
Robert Keith ...
Bill Satterwhite
Rodolfo Acosta ...
Scarface Charlie
...
Kintpuash, aka Captain Jack
Warner Anderson ...
Gen. Canby
...
Blaine Crackel
...
Manok
Richard Gaines ...
Dr. Thomas
...
...
Modoc Jim
...
Bogus Charlie
...
Lily White
Peggy Converse ...
Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant
Edit

Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only the fierce Modocs knew the terrible meaning of each beat of the Drum ! See more »

Genres:

Western | Adventure

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 April 1955 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Delmer Daves' Drum Beat  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording) (magnetic prints)| (optical prints)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Charles Buchinsky (his birth name) changed his name to Charles Bronson,using his new moniker for the first time in this film,and remained so for the rest of his acting career. See more »

Goofs

When the woman on the stagecoach is shot by a Modoc arrow, if you look closely you can see the filament wire used to "guide" the prop arrow to its target. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Thomas: Don't you feel like a murderer?
Johnny MacKay: No, sir.
Dr. Thomas: Shouldn't you?
Johnny MacKay: I've never shot anyone without cause. My job is to protect the wagon train. When somebody shoots at my people, I shoot back.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Good Life (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Drum Beat
Music by Victor Young
Lyrics by Ned Washington
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Handsomely produced western in gorgeous WideScreen color...
9 January 2012 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

While the plot of DRUM BEAT is based on a true incident during frontier days on the plains, nothing about the film suggests that it's any more than a standard Cavalry vs. Indians western seen hundreds of times since the movies were born.

However, credit director Delmer Daves for finding some gorgeous locations for his story and casting Charles Bronson and Anthony Caruso as Indians who look marvelously authentic in their make-up. Not so fortunate are Marisa Pavan and Audrey Dalton in the weak female roles that could have been played by any young ingénue on the Warner lot.

Alan Ladd is the Indian expert hired by President Grant to make peaceful overtures to the Modocs, headed by Bronson. Elisha Cook, Jr. is interesting as a corrupt Indian trader and most of the supporting roles get good results, especially in the action scenes, all of which are well-staged by director Daves. Especially good is a climactic fight between Ladd and Bronson as they tumble down a rushing stream and fall over the rocky terrain. Ladd seems to be doing most of his stunts in this action-packed scene.

But otherwise, he delivers a rather stoic performance, showing barely any expression even in his brief love scenes with Audrey Dalton. Hard to tell if he was bored or just impatient with the routine script.

All in all, worth watching for the action scenes and the handsome landscapes filmed in beautiful WideScreen Technicolor.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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