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 »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
General Edward Canby, whose death is depicted in this movie, was in reality the only U.S. army general killed during the American Indian Wars. "General" G. A. Custer, killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876, was not in fact a general at the time of his death. After the Civil War, he held the permanent rank of Lieutenant Colonel. See more »
When Captain Jack meets with the peace commission and asked by Johnny MacKay what it would take to make peace, he responds "all of the Lost River to the Klamath." He was in fact a Modoc. See more »
Kintpuash, aka Captain Jack:
Red man think he go to good place when he die. Good hunting... good shooting... no white man. None! You're not like preacher who talk about Pearly Gates. You got sense. You tell me, Johnny, you believe there is a place like this?
Yes, I believe that, Jack, except I think it's open for all of us when we die. I think they, ah, even let white men in.
Kintpuash, aka Captain Jack:
If I see that it's for red man only up there, maybe someday I tell them, "You let Johnny McKay in. He good fighter!"
Thanks, Jack. Maybe I'll see you...
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Handsomely produced western in gorgeous WideScreen color...
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.
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