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Distant Drums (1951)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Western | 29 December 1951 (USA)
After destroying a Seminole fort, American soldiers and their rescued companions must face the dangerous Everglades and hostile Indians in order to reach safety.

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writers:

Niven Busch (screenplay), Martin Rackin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gary Cooper ... Capt. Quincy Wyatt
Mari Aldon ... Judy Beckett
Richard Webb ... Lt. Richard Tufts
Ray Teal ... Pvt. Mohair
Arthur Hunnicutt ... Monk
Robert Barrat ... Gen. Zachary Taylor
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Storyline

Navy Lieutenant Tufts accompanies scout Quincy Wyatt into the Everglades to rout the Seminole Indians who are threatening the early settlers in Florida. When the command is forced to run, Wyatt and Seminole Chief Oscala square off in an exciting climax. Written by Buxx Banner <buxx572@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Against unseen jungle terrors and untamed savage tribes ... and pounding war-drums that echoed his challenge ! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Filmaffinity (Spanish)

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 December 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Teufelsbrigade See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Filming in the Everglades posed many dangers for the film unit. Gary Cooper sank to his waist in quicksand one day before he could be freed, and cameraman Sid Hickox, "swore that he almost set up on an alligator." According to the director, Cooper also complained that he had "donated a gallon of his best blood to the mosquitoes and leeches." See more »

Goofs

The historic Castillo de San Marcos is located in the east coast of Florida, not the west coast as shown in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Monk: These injuns smell a little gamey, Captain. They rub skunk oil on themselves to keep off bugs and flies.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are followed immediately by Lt. Richard Tufts (Richard Webb) writing in his LOG "I, Lieutenant Richard Tufts, United States Navy, do make this account of my perilous journey in the Territory of Florida in the year 1840." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cheyenne: Julesburg (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Those Seminole Wars
29 August 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

United States Pictures which released Distant Drums through Warner Brothers was I think Gary Cooper's own production company. Looking at The Films of Gary Cooper book, I noticed about three others with same credits in the Fifties of which Distant Drums was the first.

The film was shot on actual location in the Everglades, I think Gary Cooper must have gotten some taste of what Bogey and Hepburn were enduring doing The African Queen. Too bad the story didn't rate the same as The African Queen.

Cooper is an American Army captain on duty with the army of General Zachary Taylor, played by Robert Barrat, who lives on his own island and doesn't dress in any army uniform. Zach Taylor had a reputation for informality, but that was carrying it a bit too far. The only other guy who had his own private island during war was Lt. Commander Quentin McHale and his PT Boat crew.

Anyway Barrat gives Cooper a mission and a Navy lieutenant played by Richard Webb to carry it out. To attack an old Spanish fort and go by boat across Lake Okechoobee. An early type of amphibious warfare. The attack goes off as planned and some civilian prisoners are rescued from the renegades using the fort. But the Seminoles are in hot pursuit of Cooper and the whole bunch through most of the film.

I can't believe by the way that a director like Raoul Walsh had the army and the Seminoles fighting with repeating rifles and six shooter revolving pistols. Stuff wasn't invented yet.

For the early years of the republic, Florida under Spanish rule and loose rule at that, was a thorn in our side. Pirates like the ones you see here used it as a haven for raiding purposes. But it was also a refuge for runaway slaves. Our southern states wanted Florida acquired to put an end to that. The indigenous tribes to Florida, the Seminoles did offer refuge for runaway slaves. So a war there was inevitable, especially when southern presidents like Andrew Jackson were in the White House.

Maybe one day someone will do a proper film on the early history of Florida, but this ain't it.


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