Crown City, Colorado, may become a ghost town; the only gold left is in Ute Indian land. Gary Brannon, an honest man who hates Indians, joins a mission to try for mining concessions; but crooked Frank Walker, more realistically, plans to start an Indian war. Gary and his wiser father Sam have their hands full keeping the peace, and Walker has lots more schemes up his sleeve. More plot twists than the average Western. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Drums Across the River concerns freighters Walter Brennan and his son Audie Murphy trying very hard to prevent a full scale Indian war which Lyle Bettger and sidekicks seem bound and determined to start.
There's some rich mineral deposits on Ute land which is separated by a river boundary. Lyle Bettger plays on the greed of the white folks to invade the Ute treaty land so the government will send in troops to move them.
Brennan sees the game for what it is, but it takes Murphy a while to come around. When he does he's the heroic Audie we know in most of his B westerns.
Lots of action and a really nice performance by Jay Silverheels as the young Ute chief. Silverheels was on hiatus from the Lone Ranger and he ought to be remembered for more than just playing Tonto.
There's also a nice performance by Mara Corday who is Bettger's squeeze and does quite a bit more for him than the usual moll.
Despite that the film probably suffered from some poor editing and a script in which the character's motivations in doing certain things are a bit vague.
Nevertheless Drums Across the River has enough action to satisfy any western lover.
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