When the South loses the war, Confederate veteran O'Meara goes West, joins the Sioux, takes a wife and refuses to be an American but he must choose a side when the Sioux go to war against the U.S. Army.
When he completes his military service Walter Gulick returns to his birthplace, Cream Valley, New York. He was orphaned as an infant and grew up elsewhere but always wanted to return to ... See full summary »
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.
Two former U.S. Army soldiers, Adam Dyer and Josh Corey, join a band of Turkish mercenaries in 1922 Turkey. They are hired by Osman Bey, a local governor, to escort his three daughters to ... See full summary »
Outlaw Clint Hollister escapes from jail with the help of Marshal Jake Wade, because once Clint did the same for him. Jake left Clint just after, but Clint finds him back and forces Jake to... See full summary »
Captain Maddocks will never be promoted beyond Captain because of a mistake that he made in the past. Lt. McQuade is a green rookie who is now under the command of the tough Captain and he does not seem to be able to do anything right. Lt. McQuade also has trouble with Tracey, but it will be the renegade Indians that will test him and teach him the importance of following orders. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
The film recorded a loss of $42,000, according to MGM records. See more »
On the night before the final battle: around the campfire, bottom right, ribbed shoe-prints are clearly visible in the dust. They were obviously made by modern footwear with synthetic soles. See more »
It's usually a bad sign for a western when a title is given that has nothing to do with the story. There's no thunder and no Indian war drums. But A Thunder Of Drums is a nice combination of soap opera and horse opera.
Richard Boone is one bitter commander of a forgotten frontier outpost in post Civil War Texas and has George Hamilton a new young lieutenant from the east assigned when he wanted someone with a little frontier experience. But there seems to be more than that in his hostility toward Hamilton.
As for Hamilton he doesn't help his own cause by immediately taking up with Luana Patten who is the fiancé of James Douglas another lieutenant on the post. Hamilton has history with Patten and he's looking to write a few new chapters.
But in the last 45 minutes of the film it's all cavalry business as Boone seeks to destroy a band of hostiles in the area and try to make sure the right tribe is blamed for some recent raids. It's a bitter school for his young officers Hamilton, Douglas and Richard Chamberlain.
A Thunder Of Drums is based on a story from western writer James Warner Bellah who was the source of the famous John Ford classic cavalry western Fort Apache. Some similarities in some of the characters are present here. They're not romanticized though in the way John Ford would do.
Such people as Arthur O'Connell as the first sergeant and troopers Slim Pickens and Charles Bronson have some small parts. Bronson who does not last long as Hamilton's orderly tries to tempt him in small ways. Definitely he's not a John Ford type character.
A Thunder Of Drums is a gritty western with good performances from the ensemble cast.
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