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Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

Approved | | Drama, History, Romance | 10 November 1939 (USA)
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Newlyweds Gil and Lana Martin try to establish a farm in the Mohawk Valley but are menaced by Indians and Tories as the Revolutionary War begins.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Lamar Trotti (screen play), Sonya Levien (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Claudette Colbert ... Lana (Magdelana)
Henry Fonda ... Gilbert Martin
Edna May Oliver ... Mrs. Mc Klennar
Eddie Collins Eddie Collins ... Christian Reall
John Carradine ... Caldwell
Dorris Bowdon ... Mary Reall
Jessie Ralph ... Mrs. Weaver
Arthur Shields ... Reverend Rosenkrantz
Robert Lowery ... John Weaver
Roger Imhof Roger Imhof ... Gen. Nicholas Herkimer
Francis Ford ... Joe Boleo
Ward Bond ... Adam Hartman
Kay Linaker ... Mrs. Demooth
Russell Simpson ... Dr. Petry
Spencer Charters ... Innkeeper
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Storyline

In Revolutionary America, Gil Martin takes his new wife Lana back to his farm in upstate New York. The area is remote and a distance from the fort but they are happy living in their one room cabin. With the declaration of independence, the settlers soon find themselves at war with the British and their Indian allies. Their farm is burned out and the Martins take work with Sarah McKlennar. The war continues however as the Martins try to make a new life. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Red-Blooded DRAMA !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Darryl F. Zanuck's Production of Drums Along the Mohawk See more »

Filming Locations:

Cook County, Pennsylvania, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,000,000, 3 November 1940
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Henry Fonda is a direct descendant of the Fondas that settled in the Mohawk Valley in the mid 17th Century.

Henry's 5th Great Great Grandfather, Douw Jellis Fonda, who was too old to fight in the Revolutionary War, was killed and scalped in 1780 by an Indian that supported General Sir John Johnson and the Tories. At the same time, Henry's 4th Great Grand Father Adam Douw Fonda and his brother John Fonda were taken as prisoners and held in Canada for two years. See more »

Goofs

Sarah McKlennar is hit with an arrow high in the left breast. The arrow (or shaft) is pulled out. When we see her on her deathbed, she still seems to be wearing the same bodice, but the fabric is intact; there is no hole or bloodstain. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. McKlennar: I've a long face, and I poke it where I want.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 1776 AT THE BORST HOME IN ALBANY, NEW YORK See more »


Soundtracks

Country Gardens
(uncredited)
Traditional 18th Century dance
Arranged by Edward B. Powell and Conrad Salinger
See more »

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User Reviews

Neglected gem! One of John Ford's finest films...
13 May 2001 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

1939 was a banner year for great films--and certainly one of them was "Drums Along the Mohawk" in gorgeous early technicolor about a period in history not often used as the subject of a major film. Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert are fine as a young couple in the years before the Revolutionary War settling in the backwoods of New York state. The hardships of pioneer life are made even tougher by the presence of Indians on the warpath, the only refuge being a nearby fort where men, women and children find some protection.

Brilliantly photographed with lots of action scenes that bring the film vividly to life under John Ford's direction. John Carradine makes an excellent villain and Edna May Oliver gives another one of her priceless performances as an elderly widow who forms a strong attachment to the young couple. An unforgettable scene has Indians raiding her home while she refuses to budge from her bed even though they set fire to it. Scenes of Indian cruelty and torture are also present--but altogether a moving film well worth viewing to see what frontier life must have been like way back then.

Sentimental at times--but also harsh and realistic. Most memorable scene: Fonda pursued by Indians for a long chase over woodlands, finally wearing out his pursuers who collapse from sheer exhaustion. Thrilling chase!


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