22 user 10 critic

The Drum (1938)

Not Rated | | Adventure, War | 29 September 1938 (USA)
During the British Raj, Captain Carruthers works under cover to track smuggled shipments of arms on the restless Northwest Frontier of India. He fears a full-scale rebellion is brewing. To ... See full summary »


Zoltan Korda


A.E.W. Mason (by), Lajos Biró (adaptation) (as Lajos Biro) | 3 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sabu ... Prince Azim
Raymond Massey ... Prince Ghul
Roger Livesey ... Capt. Carruthers
Valerie Hobson ... Mrs. Carruthers
David Tree ... Lieut. Escott
Desmond Tester ... Bill Holder
Francis L. Sullivan ... Governor (as Francis L.Sullivan)
Archibald Batty Archibald Batty ... Major Bond
Frederick Culley Frederick Culley ... Dr.Murphy
Amid Taftazani Amid Taftazani ... Mohammed Khan
Laurence Baskcomb Laurence Baskcomb ... Zarullah (as Lawrence Baskcomb)
Roy Emerton Roy Emerton ... Wafadar
Michael Martin Harvey Michael Martin Harvey ... Mullah
Martin Walker Martin Walker ... Herrick
Ronald Adam ... Major Gregoff


During the British Raj, Captain Carruthers works under cover to track smuggled shipments of arms on the restless Northwest Frontier of India. He fears a full-scale rebellion is brewing. To forestall this, the British governor signs a treaty with the friendly, peace-loving ruler of Tokot, a key kingdom in the region, which is described as four days' march northward from Peshawar. Meanwhile, the king's son, Prince Azim, befriends Carruthers and a British drummer boy, Bill Holder, who teaches him how to play the instrument. Written by GusF

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mighty saga of a savage land! (Print Ad- Independent Press, ((Bloomfield, NJ)) 13 January 1939) See more »


Adventure | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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User Reviews

Good entertainment from a long-vanished era
10 December 2008 | by csrothwecSee all my reviews

Exactly what you would expect from the era in which it was produced and given the man behind its production. A rip-roaring adventure yarn which attempts to convince its audience it is set in (then-)modern times, (with radio transmitters strapped onto to pack mules and attempts to slip in 'contemporary' songs, (of which more below)), but whose heart is really in the 1890s or thereabouts, extolling the virtues of British rule of the Raj, the comradeship formed across races by jointly facing adversity and evil plotters aiming to overthrow British rule - all wrapped up in a Kiplingnesque atmosphere and with LOTS of bagpipe music, highland dancing and marching ranks of soldiers. The acting/screen presence of Sabu and Roger Livesey are very good and commanding, as is also the case with Raymond Massey, (always watchable in any case), as the scheming 'baddie'. Val Hobson appears suitably 'fragant' and stiff-lipped in the lead female role, BUT whoever was responsible for the idea of getting her to mime to the 'contemporary' love song inserted in one of the dinner party scenes should certainly have been handed over to the insurgents for a VERY slow and agonising end! Conclusion: switch off the PC monitor, go back seventy years and just go with the flow of an entertainment movie which will zip by rapidly and leave you feeling you have spent 90 minutes in a care-free manner, (especially if you can hit the mute button when 'that song' comes on!)

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Release Date:

29 September 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Drums See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Noiseless Wide Range Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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