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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two men are released from the Arizona Territorial Prison at Yuma in 1898. One, the Dutchman, is out to get both gold and revenge from the people of a small mining town who had him ... See full summary »

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Alan Ladd, Ernest Borgnine, Katy Jurado
Jubal (1956)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A new foreman rejects the sexual advances of a frustrated rancher's wife, which leads to conflicts that could get him killed.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Steiger
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The trials and tribulations of bitter veteran Captain Maddocks and argumentative rookie Lieutenant McQuade at a cavalry desert outpost.

Director: Joseph M. Newman
Stars: Richard Boone, George Hamilton, Luana Patten
Branded (1950)
Crime | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A gunfighter takes part in a scheme to bilk a wealthy cattle family out of half a million dollars by pretending to be their son, who was kidnapped as child.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Alan Ladd, Mona Freeman, Charles Bickford
Action | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The criminal exploits of Public Enemy number 1, George 'Machine-Gun' Kelly, during the 1930s.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Charles Bronson, Susan Cabot, Morey Amsterdam
The Big Land (1957)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Alan Ladd stars as a Kansas cattle rancher battling the elements and corrupt cattle buyers to build a railroad spur to the Rio Grande just after the United States' Civil War.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Alan Ladd, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Rebel vet, O'Meara has refused to surrender when Lee does at Appomattox. O'Meara travels west and after escaping from, he joins the Sioux and takes a wife. After denouncing himself as an ... See full summary »

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Rod Steiger, Sara Montiel, Brian Keith
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In California during the Civil War, a Confederate patrol and a Union troop must set their differences aside in order to survive a Sioux attack.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Errol Flynn, Patrice Wymore, Scott Forbes
Santiago (1956)
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A gun runner, dishonorably discharged from the military, is swept deeper into a revolution in Cuba when he crosses paths with an enemy from the past and a beautiful revolutionary and her son.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Alan Ladd, Rossana Podestà, Lloyd Nolan
Borderline (1980)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

On the U.S.-Mexican border, border cop Jeb Maynard is hunting for a human smuggler responsible for Jeb partner's murder.

Director: Jerrold Freedman
Stars: Charles Bronson, Bruno Kirby, Bert Remsen
The Deep Six (1958)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The conflict between duty and conscience is explored in this WWII drama. Alan Ladd stars as Naval gunnery officer Alec Austin, a Quaker whose sincere pacifist sentiments do not sit well ... See full summary »

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Alan Ladd, Dianne Foster, William Bendix
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 1743, outlaw Leon Alastray is hunted by the Spanish army but is given sanctuary by a priest in a village terrorized by marauding Yaqui Indians.

Director: Henri Verneuil
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Anjanette Comer, Charles Bronson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Johnny MacKay
...
Nancy Meek
...
Toby
...
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 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

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

This movie was based on the 1869 Modoc Indian uprising in northern California, yet they show 44-40 lever action Winchester rifles, which were not introduced until 1873. See more »

Quotes

[discussing Captain Jack]
President Ulysses S. Grant: What kind of man is he?
Johnny MacKay: Well, some people say he's got a little white blood in him because of his white eye... but I think it's mostly bad blood.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Good Life (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A fine outdoors action western
25 May 2003 | by (Virginia) – See all my reviews

This western is one of Alan Ladd's best films and he is the peace commissioner turned Indian fighter who finally brings peace in the far west. The film is based on factual events as Modoc boss Captain Jack ignores repeated overtures for peace and leaves the cavalry no choice but to resort to arms to stop the killing and outrages. Ladd and Charles Bronson, the Indian leader, make fine adversaries and the movie has lots of action and beautiful scenery. A great cast of western favorites are in the film and Ladd even has a moment or two to clinch with with pretty Audrey Dalton. Marisa Pavan is an Indian maiden who also has a yen for Ladd. Delmer Daves directed this film, which is another in a succession of excellent Daves westerns. Victor Young's fine music accompanies the film.


17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Scenic Water Fight powersroc
DVD SamHocevar
Sound Quality hg_b1
Hasn't held up well. angelosdaughter
Discuss Drum Beat (1954) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?