A Thunder of Drums (1961)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  14 November 1961 (Japan)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.9/10 from 419 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 2 critic

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


(as Joseph Newman)
0Check in
1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    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
X-15 (1961)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

During the Cold War in the 1960s the U.S.A.F.and NASA tested the experimental rocket-powered aircraft X-15 that set altitude and speed records and reached the edge of outer space.

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: David McLean, Charles Bronson, Ralph Taeger
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A Southern States official returns home after the Civil War and has to see that in his village the law is in the hands of a few scrupoulos people.

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Payne, Jan Sterling, Coleen Gray
Fort Massacre (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A cavalry troop finds itself under constant attack by Indians.

Director: Joseph M. Newman
Stars: Joel McCrea, Forrest Tucker, Susan Cabot
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
Sci-Fi | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The world in the late 19th century: A scientist and his team are held as "guests" of Robur on his airship, that he want to use to ensure peace on earth. Peace with all, even if he has to ... See full summary »

Director: William Witney
Stars: Vincent Price, Charles Bronson, Henry Hull
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After his brother the sheriff is murdered, Bat Masterson is elected to the job and is determined to find the killer and make Dodge City safe.

Director: Joseph M. Newman
Stars: Joel McCrea, Julie Adams, John McIntire
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Steve Sinclair is a world a world-weary former gunslinger, now living as a peaceful farmer. Things go wrong when his wild younger brother Tony arrives on the scene with his new bride Joan Blake.

Directors: Robert Parrish, John Sturges
Stars: Robert Taylor, Julie London, John Cassavetes
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

At the closing of 1874 a haunted, dying Wild Bill Hickcock teams up with a grieving Crazy Horse to hunt a murderous albino buffalo.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Charles Bronson, Jack Warden, Will Sampson
Gunman's Walk (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A powerful rancher always protects his wild adult son by paying for damages and bribing witnesses, until his crimes become too serious to rectify.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Van Heflin, Tab Hunter, Kathryn Grant
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Wagon train scout Linc Murdock reminisces about his old feud with rancher Rance Macklin over pretty Maria during the time when Linc worked for the Macklin ranch.

Director: Boris Sagal
Stars: Charles Bronson, Susan Oliver, Kurt Russell
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A deputy marshal kills a murderer in a town that loved him, and when no one is willing to identify him, he can't collect any reward.

Director: Gene Fowler Jr.
Stars: Charles Bronson, Robert Hutton, John Carradine


Cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Curtis McQuade
Luana Patten ...
Tracey Hamilton
Sgt. Karl Rodermill
Trooper Hanna
Lt. Porter
James Douglas ...
Lt. Thomas Gresham
Tammy Marihugh ...
Laurie Detweiler
Camden Yates
Trooper Eddy
Trooper Erschick
Clem Harvey ...
Trooper Denton
Casey Tibbs ...
Trooper Baker
Irene Tedrow ...
Mrs. Scarborough
Marjorie Bennett ...
Mrs. Yates


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 <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A regiment of forgotten men... a woman no man could forget!




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 November 1961 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Tonnerre apache  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


Captain Stephen Maddocks: Bachelors make the best soldiers. All they have to lose is their loneliness.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

15 July 1999 | by (Savannah, GA) – See all my reviews

Indians attack settlers. Undermanned cavalry tracks Indians. Indians massacre cavalry. Cavalry massacres Indians.

This lurid, routine programmer, would be entirely forgettable, except for two extraordinary performances. Richard Boone portrays the Cavalry Commander, with the kind dignity, sensitivity and intensity which only Richard Boone could give. Charles Bronson plays a dirty minded, foul mouthed, but surprisingly noble corporal. For these two performances alone, see the movie.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Has Anyone Else Ever Noticed? lexyladyjax
A THUNDER OF DRUMS Now Available On DVD lexyladyjax
Discuss A Thunder of Drums (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: