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A Thunder of Drums (1961)

Approved | | Western | 14 November 1961 (Japan)
The trials and tribulations of bitter veteran Captain Maddocks and argumentative rookie Lieutenant McQuade at a cavalry desert outpost.

Director:

(as Joseph Newman)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Sgt. Karl Rodermill
...
Trooper Hanna
...
Lt. Porter
James Douglas ...
Lt. Thomas Gresham
Tammy Marihugh ...
Laurie Detweiler
...
...
Trooper Eddy
...
Trooper Erschick
Clem Harvey ...
Trooper Denton
Casey Tibbs ...
Trooper Baker
...
Mrs. Scarborough
...
Mrs. Yates
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 November 1961 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Tonnerre apache  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer James Warner Bellah was best known for his many successful westerns. See more »

Goofs

When an Indian sneaks into the Fort at night and stabs a guard he is chased out of the Fort by the Captain and lieutenant. The Fort has a big iron spiked gate that the groups enter through in several shots and yet the Indian attacker enters the compound over a short fence they all jump over. See more »

Quotes

Captain Stephen Maddocks: Bachelors make the best soldiers. All they have to lose is their loneliness.
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User Reviews

 
A hard frontier school
8 August 2016 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

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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