In 1872, Indian fighter Johnny MacKay is appointed peace commissioner for the California and Oregon territory but he faces tough opposition from the renegade Modocs led by their brutal chief Captain Jack.

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Cast

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

They called him a Wanderer because a horse was his home...they called him "Injun Lover" but never to his face...but they called on him when everyone else had run away ! 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  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,100,000 (estimated)
 »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Minister: You'll never what for anything in heaven, Jack. When you go through those Pearly Gates, you'll find everything there... even without asking for it.
Kintpuash, aka Captain Jack: You say this heaven nice place, huh? You like this place, heaven?
Minister: Yes, it's a beautiful place!
Kintpuash, aka Captain Jack: Then I tell you what, Preacher. You like it so much, you take my place out there.
[indicates the gallows outside his jail cell]
Kintpuash, aka Captain Jack: You go to heaven instead of me. What do you say?
Minister: Well now, I'll be ready when the great day comes.
Kintpuash, aka Captain Jack: You not ready now... me not ...
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Connections

Featured in Cinema: Alguns Cortes - Censura II (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Drum Beat
Music by Victor Young
Lyrics by Ned Washington
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User Reviews

 
A Bronson Breakthrough
6 December 2010 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Catch the two great bookend sequences. They may be the most memorable part of this nicely produced Western purportedly based on fact. That opening sequence with McKay (Ladd) walking in unchallenged to meet President Grant is based on the historical fact that presidents have only been removed from the public in later times. Citizens back then could essentially walk in and talk to the president without a dozen pre-screens.

Also, for this Bronson fan, that jail cell ending may well be the high point of his acting career. He shows more unforced good humor and naturalness there than any scene I've seen him in. In fact, he easily steals the movie from the rest of the cast, positioning himself as a real Hollywood comer.

This is an A-production from Warner Bros. For example, scope out the well stocked cavalry troop. No corner-cutting there. Then too, lavish use is made of Sedona's familiar red rock locations adding real scenic value. Also, there's a much larger than usual supporting cast of familiar faces, even down to bit parts. Producers Daves and Ladd (uncredited) do a bang-up job assembling the many components.

Surprisingly, for plot developments, the Indians actually get to win a battle and rejoice on- screen. However, the film's impact is damaged by being over-long, probably to accommodate a romantic interest to broaden audience appeal. Then too, Ladd, the actor, appears not nearly as interested in the film as Ladd, the co-producer. Frankly, he looks glum throughout the nearly two-hour running time, and I don't think it's from under-playing the part. Plus having him over-power the muscular, extremely fit looking Bronson is quite a stretch.

Despite these several drawbacks, it's still a good scenic, action flick, the first of director Daves' series of superior Westerns.


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